New Delhi: In a major development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked its second-in-command Special Director Rakesh Asthana for allegedly accepting bribes .
But building the case against Asthana was not easy.
The CBI started the probe following the arrest of a Dubai-based middleman Manoj Prasad on October 16, 2018.
The investigative agency intercepted nine phone calls immediately after middleman Manoj Prasad was held in the alleged bribery case against Asthana, to allege that there was panic after the middleman’s brother, Somesh Prasad got “wind” of the arrest, officials said Sunday.
Call data analysis shows that the phone calls were allegedly exchanged between Asthana and a senior officer of another intelligence agency, who wanted to confirm the details of the middleman’s arrest.
Prasad reportedly came to know his brother’s arrest on October 16 and immediately called his contact, the senior officer of the intelligence agency on the same day. A call was then made by the officer to Somesh within a minute, claims CBI.
Next day, the intelligence agency officer allegedly called Asthana to purportedly know the situation.
Three more calls were exchanged between the two, the agency claimed.
The calls were also exchanged between the senior officer and the wife of middleman Prasad among others, an officer claimed.
The sources claimed that call data records show that four calls were exchanged between Asthana and the senior officer on October 17, 2018, a day after the arrest.
In addition to the call exchanges, CBI is also depending heavily on the Whatsapp messages recovered from Manoj Prasad’s phone.
The CBI registered the case on the basis of claims made by businessman Sathish Sana, probed by him in a separate case, that he was asked to pay a bribe of Rs 5 crore by Manoj Prasad, an investment banker based in Dubai to get relief from repeated summons and a clean chit in the case, they said.
Satish also claimed that he was being harassed by the CBI officers to pay more.
Interestingly, Asthana, the second-in-command in the agency, had intimated the cabinet secretary nearly two months ago that Sana had allegedly paid a bribe of Rs 2 crore to CBI Chief Alok Verma to get relief in the case.
The CBI is now defending Director Verma, terming the charges as “false and malicious”.
In his letters to the Cabinet Secretary and Central Vigilance Commission, Asthana had written about 10 cases of alleged corruption and irregularities against the CBI Director Alok Verma, levelling serious corruption charges in some of them.
One of the case pertained to Sathish Sana, a businessman facing probe in a corruption case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi in which Asthana had alleged on August 24 that Sana paid Rs two crore to Verma to get relief in the case.
Rahul ‘regrets’ using SC reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark over Rafale deal
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday filed his response to a contempt petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Meenakshi Lekhi over his remark on the Rafale deal. Rahul said that he ‘regrets’ using Supreme Court’s reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark and it was ‘made in the heat of the political campaign.’
SC had last week issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi in connection to the contempt petition and sought an explanation from him.
In his response, the Congress president said that the statement was made in the “heat of political campaigning” but alleged that it has been “used and misused by political opponents.”
“I will not attribute any views, observations or findings to the court in political addresses to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations or findings are recorded by the Court,” Rahul Gandhi said.
“It is also clear that no court would ever do that (say Chowkidar Chor hai) and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political juxtaposition in the same breath in the heat of the political campaigning,” he added.
The Supreme Court will hear the matter .
After the apex court had dismissed preliminary objection raised by the Centre seeking review of the earlier judgment in the Rafale case, the Congress president remarked: “Supreme Court has said chowkidar chor hai in the verdict.”
While making the observations last week, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: “We make it clear that views, observations, findings attributed to this court in the alleged speeches, remarks made by Gandhi to media/public have been incorrectly attributed to this court. We also make it clear that this court had no occasion to make such observation in as much as it was deciding legal admissibility of certain documents which were objected by the attorney general.”
Like father, like son: Jaya Prada reacts to Abdullah Azam Khan’s ‘Anarkali’ jibe
New Delhi: Jaya Prada on Monday lashed out at Abdullah Azam Khan for his remarks from a day earlier in which he described her as ‘Anarkali.’
Abdullah, son of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, had – without actually taking Jaya Prada’s name – had suggested that Rampur Lok Sabha constituency will accept both Bajrangbali and Ali but will reject Anarkali. It is believed to be a clear reference to Jaya Prada who is contesting the Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket from here. (Full report here)
Reacting to the remark, Jaya Prada said that Abdullah has taken the habit of making cheap remarks from his father. “I cannot decide whether to laugh or to cry after listening to his remark. Like father, like son. But I had not expected this from Abdullah. He is an educated man,” she told news agency ANI. “His father says I am Amrapali. He says I am Anarkali. Is that how they see women?”
The verbal duel between Jaya Prada on one side and Abdullah and Azam Khan on the other has been bitter, often bordering on derogatory.
Azam Khan, in particular, has had to face massive backlash for reportedly making numerous crass remarks against his former SP colleague who has since joined BJP. The two are direct rivals in the Rampur Lok Sabha constituency which votes in the third phase this Tuesday.
‘Absolutely a right decision’: Amit Shah defends fielding Sadhvi Pragya
Kolkata: While addressing a press conference in Kolkata, BJP president Amit Shah said, “The refugees who have come from Bangladesh, be it Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, or Christians, BJP has clearly signalled in its ‘sankalp patra’ that we will give them citizenship.”
“Citizenship Amendment Bill will come first, all refugees will be given citizenship, after that NRC will be made. Refugees shouldn’t worry, only infiltrators should. First the CAB will come then NRC, NRC will not be for just Bengal but for the whole country,” Shah said.
Shah assured that Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be passed after picture in Rajya Sabha changes by 2020.
He said, for India, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is about taking it to new heights and establishing democracy.
“Democracy has ceased to exist in Bengal, law and order has also failed,” he added.
Speaking on the recent controversial leader Sadhvi Pragya, the BJP president said that she has been given a clean chit after a false case was filed against her.
Sadhvi Pragya, who is out on bail in the Malegaon blast case of 2008, has been fielded by the BJP from Bhopal constituency. “It is absolutely a right decision. The allegations against her are baseless. Nothing against her or Swami Aseemanad have been proved,” Shah said while addressing a media conference here.
On being asked if Prime Minister Modi will also contest from West Bengal, Shah said that as of now there is no such plan.