File photo: Rakesh Asthana. Photograph:( DNA )
The Delhi High court on Tuesday refused to stay the FIR filed by the CBI against its own second-in-command Rakesh Asthana.
The court however added that no action can be taken against Asthana till Monday when CBI Director Alok Verma will have to respond to the allegations levelled by Asthana against Verma.
Both Verma and Asthana have accused each other of corruption.
Verma had accused Asthana — who is a Gujarat cadre officer — of corruption before he was appointed to the CBI. Verma pointed out the alleged corruption to the Central Vigilance Commission.
Asthana in turn wrote to the Central Vigilance Commission and the Cabinet Secretary accusing Verma of corruption.
A little later, the CBI filed the FIR against Asthana. Asthana is accused of demanding a bribe of Rs 5 crore to let businessman Satish Sana off the hook in the Moin Qureshi case.
"This is a case of illegal registration of FIR against CBI Spl Director (Asthana) based on a statement of an accused," Asthana's lawyer told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday.
"This matter is of great urgency. The person whose arrest was recommended by Asthana has now been made a complainant and based on his complaint, this FIR has been filed. Any investigation without proper permission will be illegal," Asthana's lawyer added.
The CBI counsel replied: "Charges very serious against the accused including that of bribery. Charges under prevention of corruption act along with criminal conspiracy. Charges of extortion and forgery will be added."