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'Mouse Caught Between 2 Elephants', Says Middleman Named in Case Against CBI No.2 Rakesh Asthana

The court was hearing Prasad's plea seeking quashing of the FIR against him in the bribery case in which he has contended that the report was lodged without conducting inquiry, which was illegal.

News18.com

Updated:October 29, 2018, 8:55 PM IST
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'Mouse Caught Between 2 Elephants', Says Middleman Named in Case Against CBI No.2 Rakesh Asthana
In this file photo, CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana addresses the media after a raid in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
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A Dubai resident, who is accused of taking bribes for CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, has told the Delhi High Court that he was caught in the tussle between the agency’s two senior-most officers.

The counsel for middleman Manoj Prasad on Monday referred to the feud between Asthana and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Verma, saying “ this is a fight between two elephants and one mouse has been caught in between”.

The court was hearing Prasad's plea seeking quashing of the FIR against him in the bribery case in which he has contended that the report was lodged without conducting inquiry, which was illegal.

A bench of Justice Najmi Waziri, which Monday extended Asthana’s protection from arrest till November 1, also directed the CBI to file reply on Prasad’s plea on or before October 31.

The Delhi HC on Monday observed that Prasad’s case was on a different footing from that of Asthana and DSP Devender Kumar — both accused in the same matter.

Justice Waziri said Prasad was a private person and Asthana and Kumar were public servants and nothing stops CBI from probing a private individual.

The court said it would be decided during detailed hearing on the pleas of Asthana and Kumar, seeking quashing of the FIR, whether prior sanction from the competent authority was required to prosecute them.

The court, which initially orally asked the CBI to file response to Prasad's petition by October 31, later said it was not issuing any notice on the plea right now and re-notified it for hearing on Tuesday.

Prasad, who is in the CBI custody till tomorrow, has sought quashing of the FIR lodged on October 15 as also 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 made the CBI, its chief Alok Kumar Verma, Superintendent of Police S S Gurm, Deputy Superintendent Ajay Kumar Bassi as respondents 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.
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