Former CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana likely to get clean chit in corruption case

Former CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana is likely to be acquitted from charges of corruption levelled in an FIR registered by former agency director Alok Verma.

According to Indian Express, the CBI investigating officer (IO) has prepared a report absolving all charges against Asthana in the case and submitted to his seniors. The IO in the case is Satish Dagar, who in August had applied for voluntary retirement. His report, which exonerates Asthana, will be sent to the current CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla for his assent, the Indian Express report also states. It will then be filed before a competent court.

After Shukla's assent, a closure report would be filed and sent to a competent court. Other key accused, middlemen Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad would continue to be under investigation, sources told Indian Express. The agency is still holding talks over their alleged rule in extortion.

The CBI on October 15 last year had registered an FIR against Asthana for allegedly taking a bribe from an accused probed by him in return of ensuring relief and a clean chit in the case. Asthana has strongly refuted these allegations.

The then CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy Asthana were sent on leave by the Centre through a midnight order on October 23 as both levelled allegations of corruption against each other. Dagar was brought in to probe the case by M Nageswar Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, who took over the duties and functions of CBI director on October 23, 2018 in dramatic midnight change in agency's leadership made by Centre.

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