CBI row: Delhi HC to hear middleman’s plea on November 1 in bribery case involving Rakesh Asthana

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 30, 2018, 08.10 PM(IST)

File photo: Delhi High Court. Photograph:( Others )

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Justice Najmi Waziri, who was scheduled to hear the petition Tuesday, listed it for Thursday after Prasad’s counsel sought an adjournment saying the senior advocate who has to argue the matter was on his legs in the Supreme Court.

The Delhi High Court Tuesday said it would hear on November 1 a plea of middleman Manoj Prasad, arrested in the bribery case involving CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, seeking quashing of the FIR against him.

Justice Najmi Waziri, who was scheduled to hear the petition Tuesday, listed it for Thursday after Prasad’s counsel sought an adjournment saying the senior advocate who has to argue the matter was on his legs in the Supreme Court.

On November 1, the court would hear three separate pleas — of Asthana, CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar and Prasad seeking quashing of FIR against them.

The court had on Monday heard the three pleas, while Asthana and Kumar’s petitions were listed for November, Prasad’s matter was fixed for Tuesday.

Prasad, arrested on October 17, was produced before a trial court in Delhi Tuesday on expiry of his CBI custody and was sent to 14-day in judicial custody along with Kumar, who was arrested on October 23.

The high court had on Monday observed that Prasad’s case was on a different footing from that of Asthana and Kumar.

It had said Prasad was a private person while Asthana and Kumar were public servants and nothing stops CBI from probing a private individual.

Prasad has also sought a stay on the investigation by the agency till the disposal of the petition.

The CBI had registered the case against Asthana on the basis of a complaint from Hyderabad-based businessman Satish Sana, facing probe in the 2017 case allegedly involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

Sana alleged that the officer had helped him get a clean chit.

The agency had also arrested Prasad in the case, when he returned from Dubai. It was alleged by Sana that Prasad and his brother Somesh had taken Rs 2 crore to arrange clean chit to him.

Prasad, a resident of Burj Khalifa in Dubai, has arrayed as respondents — the CBI, its chief Alok Kumar Verma, Superintendent of Police S S Gurm, Deputy Superintendent Ajay Kumar Bassi — in the matter.

He has also arrayed Sana as a respondent on whose complaint the FIR was lodged.

Prasad’s sister has filed the petition on his behalf on October 26.