New Delhi: The CBI has arrested its deputy superintendent of police Devender Kumar in connection with bribery allegations involving its special director and second-in-command Rakesh Asthana, officials said on Monday.
It is alleged that a statement of Sana was purportedly recorded on September 26, 2018 by the investigating team headed by Asthana, but it emerged in the CBI probe that on that given day the businessman was in Hyderabad, they claimed.
The agency said it has evidence in the form of hotel bills, etc. which show his presence in Hyderabad on that day. In his statement, Sana had purportedly said that he had in June this year discussed his case with Telugu Desam Party's Rajya Sabha member C M Ramesh who, after speaking to the CBI Director, had assured him that he would not be summoned again, according to the officials. “From June onwards, I was not called by the CBI. I was under the impression that investigation against me is complete,” he is believed to have said.
The CBI has now alleged that Kumar had fabricated this statement as an “afterthought...to corroborate the baseless allegations made by Asthana against CBI Director Alok Verma to the CVC (Central Vigilance Commissi-oner)”, they claimed.
They said the agency was also looking into the alleged role of other members of the special investigation team headed by Asthana. Asthana, who has been booked by the agency on bribery charges, had complained against CBI Director Verma on August 24, 2018 that he had taken bribe of Rs 2 crore from Sana to give him relief in the matter.
The CBI also refused to comment on Asthana's allegations that Additio-nal Director A K Shar-ma’s family members were running shell companies, saying the Central Vigilance Comm-ission is looking into the case. The CBI carried out searches at Kumar's residence and his office at the agency headquarters on Saturday and Sunday, and claimed to have seized his mobile phones and iPads.
The CBI went a step ahead and arrested Kumar Monday, alleging he had “fabricated the statement” of Sathish Sana. The statement was shown to be recorded on September 26, 2018. “The matter relates to alleged creation of a fabricated statement U/S 161 (CrPC) of a witness in another case at Delhi by the accused (Kumar),” the CBI spokesperson said Monday.
The feud between the two started when Asthana questioned the attempts of Verma to induct certain officers in the CBI last year. Verma gave back by objecting to the promotion of Asthana as Special Director, which was not given heed to by the transparency watchdog.
An application against his appointment was also rejected by the Supreme Court paving the way for Asthana's appointment as Special Director and number two in the agency.
Asthana filed an exhaustive complaint to the CVC against the CBI Director on August 24, 2018 giving over 11 instances of alleged corruption and irregularities against him, which included receiving Rs 2 crore bribe from Sana.
Verma also wrote to the CVC that Asthana cannot represent him in selection committee meetings in the transparency watchdog when he is away.
On October 15, the CBI registered the FIR against Asthana.