NEW DELHI — A senior officer of CBI who was probing the bribery allegations against Special Director Rakesh Ashthana and was transferred to Nagpur in a midnight coup at the CBI headquarters last month, on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging his transfer as “arbitrary, motivated and malafide.”
In his petition to the apex court, Manish Kumar Sinha IPS, DIG (Head of Branch), CBI, Anti Corruption Branch, Nagpur, Maharashtra has alleged that a minister in the Narendra Modi government was paid crores of rupees in a case. He also claimed that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had allegedly blocked a CBI search at the residence of Asthana.
Sinha was the head of branch where the FIR against Asthana was registered and was supervising the probe in it before being transferred to Nagpur in the wee hours of 24th October when CBI Director Alok Verma and Asthana were sent on forced leave. The central government conducted the midnight coup days after Verma lodged an FIR against Asthana in an alleged bribery case.
In his petition moved through advocate Sunil Fernandes, Sinha said his transfer is “arbitrary, motivated and malafide, and was made solely with the purpose and intent to victimise the officer as the investigation revealed cogent evidence against certain powerful persons”, says a report in LiveLaw.in. The CBI officer named many influential persons “whose involvement came to his knowledge following examination of Satish Sana, the complainant against Asthana, and the calls intercepted by another central agency.”
Sinha claimed that on the forenoon of October 20, he interviewed Sana at CBI headquarters where Sana stood by the contents of his complaint with respect to CBI officials.
“That apart, he also claimed that sometime in first fortnight of June 2018, a few crores of rupees was paid to Shri Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, presently Minister of State for Coal and Mines in Government of India,” the CBI officer Sinha claimed in his petition.
“As per Shri Sana, Shri Haribhai had intervened with the Senior officers of CBI through the office of the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension [“MOS (P)”], to whom, apparently, the Director – CBI reports to,” claimed Sinha.