Rakesh Asthana case: Additional solicitor general, special public prosecutor spar over who should represent agency in Delhi HC

New Delhi: The internal feud at the CBI extended on Thursday to a verbal spat in the Delhi High Court between an Additional Solicitor General and a Special Public Prosecutor, with both claiming to be representing the premier probe agency in the bribery case involving its Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

The spat erupted between the two over representing the CBI when Justice Najmi Waziri began hearing the petitions of Asthana and the agency's DSP Devender Kumar, who have sought quashing of the FIR against them in the case.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

ASG Vikramjit Banerjee, who came for the first time since the matter came up for hearing in the high court on 23 October, said he has been instructed to appear for the CBI.

Advocate K Raghavacharyulu, who has been appearing for the CBI for all this while, opposed the appearance of Banerjee and contended that he has been appointed by the agency to represent it from the beginning when the petition was filed by Asthana and others.

"I have been appointed as the Special Public Prosecutor in the case," Raghavacharyulu submitted before the court which did not comment on the issue.

Later, Banerjee said he will seek instructions from the competent authority and make it clear for the high court as to who among the two will appear on behalf of the probe agency.

After some time, when the judge took up the similar quashing petition of middleman Manoj Prasad, the ASG was not present at the hearing which invited the attention of the court.

When the court asked where was the ASG, Raghavacharyulu said his instruction was that he has to represent the agency.

The court interjected: "He (ASG) is also the counsel. If he has instructions to appear in this court, he will appear. Anyway, if he is not here, you (Raghavacharyulu) proceed."

Raghavacharyulu told reporters outside the courtroom that he was appointed as SPP to represent the CBI in the case following an official notification and claimed that there was no docket of CBI asking ASG Banerjee to appear in the matter.

"There is no confusion. At 2:15 pm also just before the hearing, I confirmed there was no docket by CBI asking the ASG to appear," he said.

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Updated Date: Nov 01, 2018 20:20:36 IST

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