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CBI seeks more time to complete probe in Rakesh Asthana bribery case

The agency told Justice Vibhu Bakhru that there are eight stages of scrutiny of which four are complete and four remain. The submission was made by the agency while urging the court to adjourn the matter to Tuesday as Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, who represents the CBI, was not available.

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Last Updated: Dec 16, 2019, 03.56 PM IST
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Asthana and the two others were booked on the allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
NEW DELHI: The CBI on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it needs more time to complete the probe in a bribery case allegedly involving the agency's then special director Rakesh Asthana and others, as four more stages of scrutiny are left before the report can be filed.

The agency told Justice Vibhu Bakhru that there are eight stages of scrutiny of which four are complete and four remain.

The submission was made by the agency while urging the court to adjourn the matter to Tuesday as Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, who represents the CBI, was not available.

The counsel representing Asthana and the other accused -- the agency's then deputy superintendent of police Devender Kumar and businessman Manoj Prasad, opposed the CBI's plea, saying the court had on October 9 given it two months and had said no more time would be given.

They urged the court to list the matter for hearing on Tuesday.

Justice Bakhru, however, declined to pass any interim orders and also refused to list the matter on Tuesday, saying "this (case) is not a priority in the list of items before this court. No one is in custody."

The court listed the matter on January 6.

When the counsel for the accused urged the court to summon the officials concerned if probe not completed by then, the judge refused to do so and said "we will see what consequential order needs to be passed on the next date. Only question to be decided is whether they should be granted more time".

On October 9, while granting two months to the CBI to complete the probe, the court had said investigation cannot be delayed indefinitely and it should have been completed by now.

On January 11, the high court had granted 10 weeks to the probe agency to complete the investigation.

On May 31, it granted four more months to conclude the probe after the agency approached the court on completion of 10 weeks' time.

Asthana and the two others were booked on the allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Kumar, earlier the investigating officer in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, was arrested on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who had allegedly paid bribe to get relief in the case.

He was arrested on October 22 last year and granted bail on October 31.

The high court in January had disposed of three petitions of Asthana, Kumar and Prasad by a common order in which the CBI was directed to complete the investigation in the case within 10 weeks.
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