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Asthana is our man and Samant bhai is close to him, CBI officer cites transcript in SC

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New Delhi, Oct 31: A K Bassi, the CBI officer who was probing the bribery case against Special Director, Rakesh Asthana challenged his transfer to Port Blair before the Supreme Court of India.

CBI Deputy SP A K Bassi outside CBI headquaters, in New Delhi

While detailing the allegations against Asthana and, he also listed a few excerpts of telephone conversations in his petition.

CBI officer probing Asthana case challenges transfer in SCCBI officer probing Asthana case challenges transfer in SC

He told the court that there are shocking details of alleged corruption and illegal gratification by Asthana. He also accused Asthana of conspiracy and colluding with two other accused persons, Somesh Prasad and Manoj Prasad.

He says that during the technical surveillance that was done, it was revealed that Somesh made a call to Samant Goel, special secretary RAW after the arrest of Manoj Prasad. In one such conversation, Goel is heard telling Somesh, " dont come to India at any cost,' Bassi further alleged in his petition.

Bassi also details another conversation between Somesh and his father law, Sunil Mittal.

In that conversation according to Bassi's petition, Somesh tells Mittal, " Asthana is our man (Asthana toh apna admi hai). Manoj has met Asthana three to four times. Samant bhai has met Asthana after the registration of the case and Samant bhai is very close to Asthana.'

On Asthana, Bassi said that the demand and acceptance of illegal gratification primarily pertained to two distinct periods of December 2017 and October 2018. He alleged there were two instances of acceptance of bribe in December 2017 totalling Rs 2.95 crore and three instances of acceptance of bribe in October 2018 totalling Rs 36 lakh.

Verma had authorised Bassi to register an FIR against Asthana and another CBI official based on a statement by Sana, an accused in the case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi. He had alleged that Asthana and others had extorted over Rs 3 crore to settle the case against him.

Delhi HC bars CBI from arresting Asthana till Nov 1Delhi HC bars CBI from arresting Asthana till Nov 1

Asthana on the other hand claimed that the FIR was filed to implicate him. It may be recalled that he had told the CVC on October 15 that Bassi was an officer of doubtful integrity, enlisted by Verma to falsely implicate him.

Bassi further went on to state that the allegation against Verma levelled by Asthana is incorrect. He said that the allegation that Sana had met Verma through a TDP leader, C M Ramesh for payment of bribe was incorrect.

Citing the investigation, he said that no such statement was made by Sana before the CBI. The statement was mostly typed in the computer of joint director Sai Manohar and Asthana by DSP Devender Kumar, he also said.

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