NSA Ajit Doval was close to middlemen, stalled search at Rakesh Asthana residence, CBI's DIG tells Supreme Court

In a petition filed before the Supreme Court, CBI Joint Director Manish Kumar Sinha has claimed that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval interfered in the investigations against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana. The petition claims that the NSA stymied a search to be carried out at Asthana’s residence. Sinha, who supervised the bribery probe against Asthana and was among officers transferred en masse in October, has alleged that the two middlemen (Manoj Prasad and Satish Babu Sana) involved in the case were close to Doval.

The petition says “searches at Devender Kumar’s premises stopped n the middle as NSA called CBI Director to stop it."

"That in the afternoon of 20.10.2018, searches were also conducted at the residence and the office of Shri Devender Kumar, DySP, CBI who was investigating the Moin Qureshi case. The reason for the search was based on certain inputs provided by Special Unit, based on legal interception. While the search was on, a phone call was received from Director CBI instructing to stop the search. At that time, the Applicant herein was sitting in the BS& FC office and asked the Director, to which the Director replied that this instruction has come from NSA Shri Doval."

In his over 30-page petition, Manish, an IPS officer from the batch of 2000, alleged that businessman Manoj Prasad, who was arrested by the CBI on 16 October in a bribery case involving another business Satish Babu Sana, boasted of his father's (Dineshwar Prasad) close ties with National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval. "This was one of the first things Manoj claimed on being brought to CBI HQ and expressed complete surprise and anger as to how CBI could pick him up, despite his close links with the NSA Shri Doval," the petition said.

According to Sana, Manoj was operating on behalf of Asthana and had promised that CBI would go soft on him if he pays up a bribe of Rs 5 crore.

Manoj, allegedly, bragged about his "close ties" with the current special secretary of Research and Analysis Wing. "He (Manoj) started bragging and claimed that his brother Shri Somesh is very close to an officer at Dubai (name withheld) and to Samant Goel, presently Special Secretary, R&AW and he can get us "finished off" / "kicked out"."

Manoj, according to the petition, taunted the CBI officials and said "that you people have no standing whatsoever and therefore should 'stay in limits' and let him free. He claimed that recently his brother Somesh and Samant Goel, helped the NSA Shri Ajit Doval on an important personal matter."

The petition says that the claims made against NSA Doval were not verified. However, Manoj also claimed that India had opted out of a contest from INTERPOL, which when verified, turned out to be factually correct. "It transpires that India was contesting for the post of delegate in INTERPOL with Joint Director, CBI Policy (Shri AK Sharma) as its nominee. There were four other contending countries. The elections were to be held sometime in 3rd week of November this year," the petition claimed.

Manish, who was leading the investigation against CBI's special director Rakesh Asthana, told the Supreme Court that a Union minister took "a few crores" as bribe to intervene on behalf of a businessman on the agency's radar. Manish allegedly told the apex court that he had "documents that will shock the court". According to a report in the NDTV, Manish said his transfer was aimed at "changing the course of the investigation" and help Asthana.

"Nothing shocks us," said Gogoi, rejecting his request for an urgent hearing.

Another CBI officer moves Supreme Court

Meanwhile, another senior CBI officer Ashwini Kumar Gupta on Saturday moved the Supreme Court alleging that his repatriation to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) was done with malafide intention.

Gupta told the apex court that he was repatriated to his parent organisation IB on the ground that the order of his extension has not been received by the CBI.

"No Objection Certificate" from the IB regarding the extension of tenure of Gupta had already been received by the CBI in June before the expiry of the deputation period and was forwarded to the Department of Personnel and Training for their approval, he said.

"The repatriation order dated October 24 is vitiated by mala fide and interference in the fair and impartial investigation of the case and intended to penalise and victimise an officer for his honesty and integrity," Gupta said in his plea.

Gupta has sought top court's permission to intervene in the matter related to CBI Director Alok Verma challenging Centre's decision divesting him of his charge as chief of the investigation agency.

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Updated Date: Nov 19, 2018 16:02:15 IST