FIR against officers shows cognisable offences: CBI

Nov 02, 2018, 11:20 IST | PTI

Probe agency opposes Special Director Rakesh Asthana's plea seeking to quash an FIR against him in a bribery case

FIR against officers shows cognisable offences: CBI
Rakesh Asthana and Devendra Kumar. File pics

The CBI on Thursday opposed in the Delhi high court its Special Director Rakesh Asthana's plea seeking to quash an FIR against him in a bribery case, saying that allegations against the officers and others show cognisable offences. The agency also said the investigation in the case was at a nascent stage and it was "handicapped" in the probe as certain files and documents were under the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) scrutiny.

The files and documents have been sent to the CVC as the Supreme Court (SC) has directed the vigilance body to conduct an enquiry against CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma. The investigating agency filed the reply in response to the notice issued to it on the petition filed by Asthana against the lodging of case. The petitions of Asthana, CBI DSP Devendra Kumar and middleman Manoj Prasad are scheduled to come up for hearing before a bench of Justice Najmi Waziri during the day.

In the reply, the CBI has said, "This court categorically held that when an FIR is challenged by way of a writ petition, more particularly, in prevention of corruption cases, allegations in the FIR are to be seen whether they disclose the cognisable offence or not and the roving enquiry at this stage is impermissible."

"It is submitted that the FIR and the complaint clearly discloses the cognisable offences and accordingly the CBI has registered the FIR and proceeded with the investigation."
The agency told the high court that there can't be a roving enquiry now as the probe was at nascent stage and several incriminating documents and role of other persons was under investigation.

"It is submitted that the investigation is at nascent stage. Being at this threshold, it may not be in the interest of the investigation to disclose various aspects or revelations or unearthed events." The agency denied all adverse allegations, whether relevant or irrelevant to Asthana's petition.

Maintain status quo till Nov 14: SC
The Delhi high court extended till November 14 its order directing the CBI to maintain status quo on proceedings against Special Director Rakesh Asthana, allegedly involved in a bribery case even as the agency said that the complaint against him and others "clearly discloses the cognisable offences".

Lawyers oppose their appearances
Two advocates — Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee and K Raghavacharyulu —opposed the appearance of each other as the CBI's counsel in Delhi HC, which was hearing a corruption case against the agency's Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

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