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Rakesh Asthana bribery case: CBI seeks more time from Delhi HC to complete investigation

The CBI on Wednesday sought more time from the Delhi High Court to complete investigation in a bribery case involving the agency’s then special director Rakesh Asthana and others.

It has filed the application for time extension on the expiry of 10 weeks it was granted by the High Court on January 11.

The court had dismissed the pleas of Mr. Asthana, DSP Devender Kumar and Middleman Manoj Prasad seeking quashing of the CBI FIR lodged against them in the bribery case, directing the agency to complete its investigation in the case within ten weeks.

The fresh CBI application came up before Justice Mukta Gupta who questioned the probe agency for not giving an advanced copy of the plea to the counsel for Mr. Astnana and Mr. Kumar.

The court asked the agency to hand over a copy of its application to the counsel for the opposite side and said it will hear the matter on Thursday.

Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Mr. Asthana and Mr. Kumar, told the court that they had not been given the copy of the application and don’t know its content.

Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, representing the CBI, said they had filed a status report in a sealed cover and the application seeking extension of time to complete the probe was not required to be served to Mr. Asthana and Mr. Kumar as it has been filed in a disposed of matter.

To this, the judge said, “You (CBI) want an order and you don’t even serve a copy to the other side. It is preposterous the way CBI tends to act. If you are not serving them the application copy then your plea is not maintainable.”

The ASG thereafter agreed to give the application copy to the counsel.

Mr. Asthana was booked on the allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under the relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Mr. Kumar, earlier the investigating officer in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, was arrested on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who had alleged having paid bribe to get relief in the case. He was arrested on October 22 and granted bail on October 31.

Source: thehindu.com

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