The CBI's Number 2 officer Rakesh Asthana, who challenged the bribery charges against him, can't be arrested till Thursday, the Delhi High Court said today. The CBI was asked to maintain status quo on proceedings against its Special Director, who was sent on leave by the government, till November 1.
Last week, the court had given him protection from arrest till today.
A bench of Justice Najmi Waziri questioned the Central Bureau of Investigation for not filing reply to requests of Mr Asthana and another official seeking quashing of the First Information Report. The CBI sought more time to file its reply and told the court that it formed a new team to investigate the allegations of corruption against Mr Asthana.
The high court also directed the agency CBI to file reply on or before Thursday.
Rakesh Asthana had written to the Chief Vigilance Commission, the top anti-corruption watchdog, that it was his boss, CBI director Alok Verma, who had taken bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman being investigated by the agency.
The Hyderabad-based businessman who accused Mr Asthana of bribe-taking asked for protection after being summoned by the investigation agency today for questioning. The complainant, Satish Sana, has asked the Supreme Court for interim protection.
As the infighting withing the country's premier investigating agency escalated, Mr Asthana and Mr Verma were sent on compulsory leave last week. M Nageswar Rao was appointed as the interim CBI chief. Mr Verma approached the Supreme Court against the government for divesting him of his powers. The top court said a vigilance inquiry against him would be time-bound and monitored by an ex-judge.
The top court hasn't given any ruling on Mr Asthana's petition, challenging the forced leave.
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