Delhi HC grants CBI 2 more months to wrap up probe in Asthana bribery case

Asthana was booked on the allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct. Photo: PTI

Rejecting the request of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that sought a three-month extension to complete the probe in the Rakesh Asthana bribery case, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday (October 9) granted the agency just two more months to wrap up its probe on the matter.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru, before whom the case came up for hearing, said that that no further time will be granted to the CBI. He passed the order while disposing of a plea by the CBI seeking extension of time to complete the probe.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Vikramjit Banerjee, representing the CBI, said Letters Rogatory has been sent to the USA and UAE in connection with the case. As the response is awaited an extension of three months’ time is required to finish the investigation, he argued.

The plea was opposed by the counsel for the three accused — Asthana, DSP Devender Kumar and businessman Manoj Prasad.

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

On January 11, the court had granted 10 weeks to the probe agency to complete the investigation. It granted four more months after the agency approached the court after completion of 10 weeks time.

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 allegedly paid bribe to get relief in the case. He was arrested on October 22, 2018 and granted bail on October 31.

The high court in January had disposed of three petitions of Asthana, Kumar and Prasad by a common order in which the CBI was directed to complete investigation in the case within ten weeks.

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