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Not one, Asthana wrote 5 letters against CBI chief Verma to CVC, copied Doval too

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Apart from one in August, the CBI no.2 wrote 4 other letters in October, in which he felt agency was also acting against him at Verma’s behest.

New Delhi: The CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana wrote not one but five letters to the Union cabinet secretary and the central vigilance commissioner (CVC), accusing CBI director Alok Verma of “criminal misconduct” and expressing apprehensions of the agency acting against him at Verma’s behest, ThePrint has learnt.

All of the five letters were also marked to National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajith Doval.

While the first letter was sent on 24 August, accusing CBI chief Alok Verma of scuttling probes, taking bribes and appointing his loyalists to top positions, the four other letters were written in October (15, 18, 19 and 20), sources said.

Sources said that Asthana wrote the second of his letters on 15 October after being tipped off about Verma’s team preparing a case against him and his loyalists.  In it, he listed his apprehension of the CBI action against him.

Also read:  After CBI, Alok Verma’s ED ‘aide’ Rajeshwar Singh could be on Modi govt radar

The CBI registered an FIR against Asthana on 15 October, accusing him of taking a bribe of Rs 3 crore from a Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who is an accused in the Moin Qureshi case that the SIT headed by Asthana was probing.

Sources said Asthana found out about the FIR only on 18 October, following which he wrote another letter to the cabinet secretary and the CVC on the same day.

The last of his letters, on 20 October, a copy of which is with ThePrint, accuses the CBI director Alok Verma of falsely implicating innocent officers and requests an “expeditious investigation” to ascertain the truth in the FIR against him. He also urged the CVC to constitute and SIT to look into the matter.

Incidentally, in the same period, DSP Devender Kumar, named along with Asthana in the case of forgery, extortion and allegedly accepting bribes, and joint director A. Sai Manohar, an Asthana loyalist, wrote similar letters to the CVC accusing Verma of implicating honest officers.

While Kumar’s letter was written on 20 October, Sai Manohar’s letter is dated 22 October.

Asthana denies charges in FIR

In his letter to the CVC and cabinet secretary dated 20 October, Asthana denied the allegations against him in the FIR and claimed that the house and office premises of DSP Devender Kumar were searched on the basis of “false, fabricated and spoofed communications”, as the complainant, businessman Sathish Babu Sana, was an accused in the Moin Qureshi case being investigated by a SIT under Asthana’s supervision.

Also read:  The RAW link in CBI tussle between Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana

Asthana further writes that he had in his 24 August letter pointed that it was Verma who had allegedly accepted Rs 2 crore from Satish Babu Sana,

“… (the) complaint is pending enquiry with your goodself. Under such circumstances, there is no reason for Shri Devender Kumar, Dy SP, SIT or undersigned to indulge in alleged activities,” the letter reads.  “To the best of my knowledge and belief, nobody in the SIT including me, entered into any communication with Satish Babu Sana other than for genuine official investigation purposes.”

‘Sana’s arrest was rejected by Verma’

Asthana further claimed that CBI director Verma rejected a proposal for the arrest and custodial interrogation of Sana in the Moin Qureshi case.

The proposal, according to the 20 October letter, was forwarded to the CBI director on 20 September 2018, and again on 3 October 2018, but was allegedly rejected.

“The above proposal has been brushed under the carpet by DCBI (Alok Verma) and never sent back to SIT for effecting the arrest. This has been done by DCBI to save his skin, as any custodial interrogation of Sathish Babu Sana would reveal the involvement of DCBI in favouring the said accused person for pecuniary gains,” the letter reads.

“The DCBI (Verma) in collusion with said the bribe giver, Satish Babu Sana and some officials of CBI, has falsely implicated me and member(s) of SIT,” he said.

Also read: What the rebellion of Alok Verma tells us about Narendra Modi

Asthana stated that there was no misconduct on part of the SIT members or himself to favour Sana and that he was “shocked” to note that instead of arresting Sana, the CBI was hounding “honest and upright officers”.

The letter also called on the CVC to direct CBI officers and its chief from taking any action on Sana’s complaint and sought a SIT probe in the matter.

“I request your goodself to ensure (an) expeditious investigation into the spoofed communications to ascertain the truth rather than treating the version of the complainant as gospel truth while acting in undue haste,” the letter reads.

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  1. Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist,Barnala (Punjab)

    All this bears testimony to the fact that the India’s Polity has been taking things very casually and lightly making a mockery of
    the SYSTEM !

    Those at the helm of affairs of the nation followed ESCAPE and SILENCE MODE strategy !

    Whose responsibility it is to set things and record straight if some thing goes awry ?

    What an exemplary model of fine goverance !

    Moreover, enlightened NSA Mr. Ajit Doval sermonises on the merits of stable governments and demerits of coalition governments as weak governments !

    Is he really very clear whether he is talking of NaMo Stability Government Model now at the steering of the nation or Mr.Jawahar Lal Nehru Or Mrs.Indira Gandhi or Mr.Rajiv Gandhi eras ?

    Ironically, now what to talk of stability or instability, it is really not worth believing that we have government at all, worth the name at present ?

    Moreover, the ensuing almost six months will experience governance paralysis and nosediving because winning assembly polls in five states this year and then ultimately Lok Sabha Polls due in May,2019 is far important a goal because governance during this span will run automatically of its own ! The focus now will not be on” small fish of the goverance”(six months)but it will be on the “bigger fish of goverance”(for five years).

    It is important to be in the saddle is the sole motive whether governance or no governance ?

    Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala (Punjab)

  2. Given Shri Rakesh Asthana’s official position as a Special Director, the second most senior official in the agency, also the fact that entanglements with other agencies like ED, RAW were coming to the fore, apart from the official correspondence beginning in August, perhaps the Cabinet Secretary could have convened a meeting with the senior officers. Once he became familiar with the true facts of the matter, through the welter of allegations and counter allegations, government could have moved in good time, avoiding the midnight change of guard.

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