In a fresh twist in the CBI versus CBI face-off, AK Bassi, the man leading the CBI investigations corruption charges against CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, has moved Supreme Court against his transfer orders. Bassi was transferred to Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar islands, and asked to join with immediate effect "in public interest" after M Nageshwar Rao took over as interim CBI chief.
In the fall out of the ugly spat between number one and number two officers of the CBI — Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana — the government had asked both of them to proceed on leave, appointed an interim chief, and transferred a handful of officers — predominantly from the anti-Asthana camp.
According to CNN-News18 Bassi has alleged that his transfer orders were illegal, and claimed that he had uncovered crucial evidence implicating Asthana during the course of his investigation. Asthana, had however complained to the Central Vigilance Commission that Bassi was carrying out "roving inquiries" against him on the directions of CBI director Alok Verma.
After Rao took over, the agency had previously said that the probe against Asthana will now be headed by Tarun Gauba, instead of Bassi.
Bassi had quoted parts of Supreme Court order limiting the powers exercised by Rao as interim chief. The apex court said that Rao cannot take any important policy decisions, and should limit his role to facilitating everyday routine functioning of the agency. The court also asked the government to submit all orders given by Rao since 23 October in a sealed envelope. Bassi used this part of the order to argue that his transfer orders given by Rao were illegal and invalid.
The feud between Verma and Asthana escalated recently leading to registration of an FIR against Asthana and others including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who is in the CBI custody in an alleged bribery case.
The FIR was lodged on a written complaint of Sana on 15 October. It alleged that Kumar, the investigating officer (IO) in a case, was repeatedly calling him to the CBI office to harass and compel him to pay bribe of Rs 5 crore for giving him clean chit. Asthana and Kumar have both challenged the FIR in the Delhi High Court.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Oct 30, 2018 15:26 PM