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CBI opposes Asthana plea; High Court orders status-quo

CBI opposes Asthana plea; High Court orders status-quo
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NEW DELHI: The CBI on Thursday opposed in the Delhi High Court its Special Director Rakesh Asthana's plea seeking to quash an FIR against him in a bribery case, saying that allegations against the officers and others show cognisable offences.

The agency also said the investigation in the case was at a nascent stage and it was "handicapped" in the probe as certain files and documents were under the Central Vigilance Commission scrutiny.

The files and documents have been sent to the CVC as the Supreme Court has directed the vigilance body to conduct an enquiry against CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma.

CBI filed the reply in response to the notice issued to it on the petition filed by Asthana against the lodging of a case.

The Delhi High Court Thursday extended its order till Nov 14 asking the CBI to maintain status quo on proceedings against Special Director Rakesh Asthana, allegedly involved in a bribery case.

Both CBI and Asthana opposed in the high court the plea of Additional Superintendent of Police S S Gurm, who has been transferred from Delhi to Jabalpur in the wake of a feud between CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma and Asthana, to be heard in the matter.

The proceedings also witnessed a controversy when two advocates claimed that they were representing the Central Bureau of Investigation in the matter.

Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee came for the first time since the matter came up for hearing in the high court on October 23, and said he had been instructed to appear for the CBI.

Advocate K Raghavacharyulu, who has been appearing for the CBI, opposed the appearance of Banerjee, contending that he has been appointed by the agency to represent it from the beginning when Asthana filed the petition.

"I have been appointed as the special public prosecutor in the case," Raghavacharyulu said.

Later, Banerjee said he would seek instructions from the competent authority and make it clear for the high court as to who among the two will appear on behalf of the probe agency.

M Post Bureau

M Post Bureau

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