New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to maintain status quo in the ongoing probe involving agency's Special Director Rakesh Asthana and granted him interim protection from arrest till Monday.
The 'status quo' is generally referred to the existing state of affairs or circumstances, and now, both sides involved in the dispute are prevented from taking any action until the next date of hearing. Justice Najmi Waziri directed the CBI to file response to agency's Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Devender Kumar's plea seeking quashing of First Information Report (FIR). The court listed the matter for further hearing on October 29.
The court directed Asthana to ensure safe custody of all electronic records. Asthana and Kumar have requested the court to call documents related to the case.
Kumar told the High Court that in spite of an excellent record in probing cases, he has been made a scapegoat in the matter. He said he has been implicated in a false, frivolous and afterthought case. Kumar termed the FIR against him as a shocking state of affairs and called the complaint against him illegal and malafide. Kumar was arrested on Monday for fabricating documents in the bribery allegations case against Asthana. Meat exporter Moin Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption, had paid a bribe to get a case against him settled, the agency said. According to the CBI, Kumar fabricated the statement of Sathish Sana, a witness in the Qureshi case, showing he recorded the statement on September 26 in Delhi. However, investigation revealed that Sana was not in Delhi on that day. He was in Hyderabad and joined the investigation only on October 1.
Kumar's arrest comes a day after the CBI registered an FIR against Asthana, Kumar and two others. The CBI has alleged that bribes were taken at least five times in December 2017 and October 2018. Asthana, a 1984 batch Indian Police Service officer of the Gujarat cadre, is accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore from a businessman who was being investigated in the Qureshi case in order to "wreck" the investigation. The case was being examined by a special investigation team (SIT) headed by Asthana. --IANS