CBI a weapon of political vendetta, tweets Rahul Gandhi; Congress slams Narendra Modi over Rakesh Asthana case

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday reacted to the ongoing controversy over second-in-command in Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special director Rakesh Asthana and called the investigating agency "an institution in terminal decline that’s at war with itself." Asthana has been accused of accepting bribe.

In a tweet, Rahul said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "blue-eyed boy has been caught taking bribes", adding that "under this prime minister, the CBI is a weapon of political vendetta".

On Sunday, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the Centre should disclose everything and not interfere in the probe against Asthana. Speaking at a press briefing, Singhvi said he was sure that the credibility of the story, which he claimed that he had only read about in news reports, would be ascertained. He added, "But let me say one thing, if even fractionally what you and I have read is true, then it is the most serious of serious things and remember, this is the same appointment which was heavily objected to at the time of its inception."

The CBI named Asthana in an FIR on 15 October. Asthana has been accused of receiving a bribe from an accused probed by him in a case linked to meat exporter Moin Qureshi. The CBI registered the case — FIR RC 13(A) of 2018 — on the basis of a complaint from Satish Sana, who was facing a probe in the 2017 case allegedly involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Sana alleged the officer had helped him to get a clean chit.

The CBI has also arrested Manoj Prasad, believed to be a middleman, when he returned from Dubai on 16 October. However, the agency has maintained silence on the issue.

Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Asthana is heading the special investigating team (SIT) handling crucial cases such as AgustaWestland chopper scam and loan fraud by business tycoon Vijay Mallya. The team is also probing the Moin Qureshi case.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Oct 22, 2018 11:48:52 IST