New Delhi, Nov 1: Special Director of the CBI, Rakesh Asthana had said that there was no prior approval sought by the competent authority, before an FIR was registered by the CBI against him in the bribery case.
He further went on to state that prior approval of the competent authority was needed under the Prevention of Corruption Act (Amendment) 2018.
The CBI, without naming Asthana had sought an opinion from the Additional Solicitor General, P S Narasimha with effect to this point. The ASG in his response said that the registration of an FIR/Preliminary Enquiry will not await the previous approval required under Section 17 A.
This opinion had been sought prior to the registration of the FIR and the same was given to the CBI on October 15, following which the case was filed.
While giving his opinion, the ASG cited the Lalita Kumari vs Govt of UP 2014 case. The Supreme Court had said in this case that the registration of an FIR is mandatory if the information given to the police under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure discloses the commission of a cognisable offence. Once the cognisable offence comes to light, the same must be registered as an FIR or PE, as the case may be, the Supreme Court had also said.
Narasimhan further said that the mandatory requirement to register an FIR or PE and the prior approval under Section 17 A operate in different fields. The FIR or PE must be registered the moment a cognisable offence comes to the notice of the law enforcing authorities, he further said in his opinion.
The case against Asthana was filed after Satish Babu Sana, an accused in the Moin Qureshi had stated before the magistrate on October 4, that he had paid a bribe of over Rs 2 crore to Asthana through a Dubai based businessman Somesh Prasad.