NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named its own special director Rakesh Asthana as an accused in a bribery case. The investigation agency has accused the special director of accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore to settle meat exporter Moin Qureshi’s case. Apart from Asthana, the CBI has also named RAW number two Samant Kumar Goel in the FIR. Goel has been accused of facilitating the deal between Asthana and Qureshi. The FIR was filed on October 15 and one Manoj, who allegedly transferred the bribe, was arrested the following day.
Qureshi was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in August last year. According to the agency, he was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and he was not cooperating in the probe. The meat exporter has been accused of laundering money for a host of public servants.
The case also brings to the fore the divide in the CBI. For several years, CBI director Alok Verma has shared a rocky relationship with Asthana with the latter accusing the former of interfering in the IRCTC corruption case in which Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad Yadav is allegedly involved.
Asthana enjoyed a clout in the CBI as most high-profile cases involving politicians were handled by him. These include graft charges against Lalu Prasad, former Union minister Chidambaram and his son Karti, and the AgustaWestland chopper deal