MeraNews Network, New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named its special director Rakesh Asthana as accused of corruption in a first information report (FIR) filed on Tuesday this week. The FIR also features the name of Research and Analysis Wing’s special director Samant Kumar Goel, but not as an accused. Asthana, who is known to be a close confidante of PM Narendra Modi, is also number two in the CBI hierarchy.
Asthana has been named as accused number one in the FIR for demanding a bribe from a businessman under investigation in the Moin Qureshi corruption case. The case was being investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Ashtana. The Gujarat-cadre IPS officer was named in the scandal after Dubai-based middleman Manoj Prasad was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by Hyderabad businessman Sana Satish, who is also under investigation in the Qureshi case.
According to report in the English daily The Indian Express, Satish had, in a statement before the magistrate said that he had paid Rs 3 crores over a period of 10 months from December 2017 to keep himself away from this case. He had named Asthana, Prasad and one of Prasad’s relative Somesh Srivastava of pressing him to pay up to get relief from appearing before the SIT questioning.
Asthana was promoted and made the special director at CBI about a year ago after completing the longest term as a police commissioner of Surat city in Gujarat. Ever since he’s taken charge at the centre, he’s been investigating several infamous cases like the Augusta-Westland deal, Fodder-scam involving former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and the loan-default case of businessman Vijay Mallya. Before becoming the Surat Police Commissioner, he was the city police commissioner at Vadodara and was also the investigating officer in the Sabarmati Train burning case.