The CBI vs CBI war gets dirtier, with a RAW officer being dragged into it
New Delhi, Oct 31: There seems to be no end to the spat within the Central Bureau of Investigation. Days after the Supreme Court ordered a CVC probe into the allegations against CBI director in exile, Alok Verma, another officer moved the court challenging his transfer.
A K Bassi who was probing the bribery case against special director in exile, Rakesh Asthana was transferred to Port Blair last week. While challenging this action, he dragged a special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing, Samant Goel into the row.
Bassi alleged that Goel had helped Asthana in the alleged case of extortion of money from Hyderabad based businessman Sathish Babu Sana. Bassi was transferred to Port Blair on October 23, days after the investigation against Asthana commenced.
He told the Supreme Court that the investigation into the FIR against Asthana has revealed the role of another high ranking bureaucrat by the name of Samatha Goel, who is presently (the) special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing. The details are present in the FIR that was registered against Asthana on the directions of the CBI chief.
Details against 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.
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.
Meanwhile the CVC probing allegations against Verma examined several officials.
Officials in the rank of inspector and superintendent of police of the CBI were called in for their versions. A senior official of the CVC then recorded the statements.
The officials who recorded their statements on Tuesday include those who handled the Moin Qureshi bribery case, the IRCTC scam involving former railway minister Lalu Yadav, and the cattle smuggling case in which a senior BSF officer was caught with wands of cash in Kerala, according to the officials.
These officials were called from the CBI headquarters here and some from zonal offices, including Kochi, they said requesting anonymity. The officials were asked to give details of the cases in whose probe, the charges of alleged interference by Verma have come up, the officials said.