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Delhi HC rejects Asthana plea to quash bribery charge 
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Delhi HC rejects Asthana plea to quash bribery charge 

Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea of CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, forcefully Sen on leave by the Union Government, to quash the FIR filed against him on bribery charges. It similarly rejected the plea of DySP Devender Kumar.

The court also directed the CBI to conduct the investigation in 10 weeks and submit a chargesheet. Asthana, Kumar and an alleged middleman Manoj Prasad had moved the court seeking to quash the FIR.

The FIR was filed on October 15 on the basis of a complaint registered on October 4 that certain CBI officials had asked for Rs 3 crore as bribe in Asthana's name to stop his ‘harassment’ in the Qureshi cases.

The CBI had in the case of controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi had said that though Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana was to be made an accused in the case, Alok Verma, then CBI Director who was reinstated on Supreme Court orders and shunted out the next day (yesterday) on the findings of the three-member high power committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, did not give the approval.

The investigation was led by Asthana, who along with Verma, was forced to go onleave on October 23. Sana is the complainant in the FIR filed against Asthana, who filed a complaint against Verma in August. Asthana has alleged that Rs 2 crore was paid to Verma as bribe by Sana. The High Court refused to consider counsel for Asthana’s claim that prior sanction was required for action against the official.

Devendra Kumar, now out on bail, had been arrested on charges of fabricating a witness’s statement.