Top CBI official seeks court-monitored probe in Asthana bribery case

New Delhi


A top CBI official, Manish Kumar Sinha, on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored SIT probe into the allegation of bribe against Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi case with the petition referring to charges of bribe being made to a Union minister and the other accused claiming connections with the "high and mighty" in the power corridors including NSA Ajit Doval.

Sinha, a DIG-rank officer transferred to Nagpur on the dramatic night of October 23 when he was supervising the probe against Asthana, has said his transfer was "arbitrary, motivated and malafide".

The application challenging his transfer to Nagpur, refers to a purported message from Law Secretary Suresh Chandra conveying a message of Cabinet Secretary P.K.Sinha offering "full protection" to Sana Sathish Babu, who is a witness in the Moin Qureshi case.

Seeking the top court direction for the summoning of the records pertaining to the case against Asthana to ensure their safe custody and not tampered with, Sinha in his application for impleadment has cited several instances where people who were interrogated in the case flaunted their high connections and one Manoj Prasad "dropped" the name of NSA Ajit Doval in the course of interrogation.

The payment of alleged illegal gratification involved a case against meat supplier Moin Qureshi. The accused in the case are Asthana, Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, investigating officer, two private persons Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad and unknown others.

This is a case in which Sathish Babu Sana is a complainant who has recorded his complainant before a magistrate in Delhi.

Recalling the course of the events, Sinha in his application says that Manoj Prasad was intercepted at Delhi Airport on his arrival from Dubai. He was brought to CBI HQ. In the first few hours of his arrival at CBI HO, Manoj was "garrulous and arrogant, both at the same time, and in equal measure."

"He tried his best to ward off the investigation by dropping names of 'high and mighty' and mentioning his ‘top contacts' to create fear in our mind", says the application.

Taking exception to CBI picking him from the airport, Manoj told the interrogators that his father Dineshwar Prasad "retired as Joint Secretary, R&AW and has close acquaintance with the present National Security Advisor Shri Ajit K. Doval."

Manoj Prasad also claimed that his brother Somesh Prasad was "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 also claimed that he and his contacts Samant Goel "helped the NSA Shri Ajit Doval on an important personal matter." He further claimed that India opted out of a contest from Interpol.

The application says that no attempt was made to verify his claim about his closeness to NSA Doval.

Regarding the genuineness of this claim of Manoj, no attempt was made to verify the claim regarding the NSA Shri Doval. -IANS