New Delhi: CBI Joint Director AK Sharma, while submitting "incriminating evidence" against CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, informed the Delhi High Court that Asthana is the "main beneficiary of extortion and kingpin of the entire offences”.
The CBI is investigating allegations of corruption and extortion against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
The Delhi High Court today extended the interim protection granted to Asthana till December 7.
The court today took into custody the incriminating evidence filed by Sharma in a sealed cover and has stated that even the CBI would have access to it if the agency desires.
“There is incriminating intercepted telephonic/WhatsApp conversation between the co-accused and their associates, where the name of the petitioner is regularly cropping up which imputes criminality on his part,” said Sharma in his submission.
Asthana had earlier alleged that AK Sharma’s family operates shell companies in partnership with dubious individuals, who are on the CBI list of undesirable contact men.
Sharma, a Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, was appointed as the joint director (policy) in March after Verma took over as director in February. The director of policy is considered to be the second-most important post in the CBI.
Sharma, through his lawyer MA Niyazi, has also stated that the CDR analysis of the seized mobile phones forms a part of the evidence.
"The CDR analysis of the mobile phones seized by the CBI of Manoj Prasad shows repeated talks/conversation between the senior official, Somesh Prasad, wife of Somesh Prasad, and Rakesh Asthana," reads the counter filed by Sharma.
Sharma had further alleged that "Rakesh Asthana is the main beneficiary of the extortion and kingpin of the entire offence. He was in regular conversation with some senior official who was in constant communication with Manoj, Somesh and Sunil Mittal. The charges are serious, grave and incriminating in nature."
Sharma has requested that Asthana’s plea to quash the FIR against him should be "rejected at the outset”.
However, Justice Najmi Waziri asked if the documents submitted with the court were not available to the CBI. To this, Niyazi assured the court that all the material was with CBI and that the information in the sealed cover can be shared with it.
"We are not looking at the content now. We will refer to it when the need arises," said Justice Waziri.
The court also allowed that the counsel for Alok Verma would be allowed to inspect the case files at the Central Vigilance Commission on November 29 and Sharma would be allowed to inspect the same on November 30.
In his petition, the CBI special director alleged that the "highest officer of the premier investigating agency of the country," his boss Alok Verma, was trying to falsely implicate him to hide his "own criminal misconduct of influencing investigations in exchange for money".
On Thursday, the Supreme Court will hear the Alok Verma case which it had adjourned last time citing leaks to media as the CVC probe report and reply filed had to be confidential.