The premier investigating agency of the nation on Wednesday apprised the media about the recent breakthrough in the agency. CBI spokesperson notified that a special team is being formed to inquest the alleged extortion and corruption case in a fair and impartial manner so that everyone gets their words heard by prudent and just officials.
Apparently, a Superintendent of Police, Joint Director and a Deputy Inspector General of Police are among the names rostered off for the team.
Stating that the officers in the team were of proven track record, the CBI spokesperson said the change had been made to ensure that all parties found the probe fair and impartial.
Key members of the team that earlier probed the case were transferred out hours after M. Nageshwara Rao assumed “interim” charge as CBI chief.
The FIR against Mr. Asthana and others was registered on October 15 for alleged extortion of more than ₹3 crore from a person of interest in a case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, who has been accused of taking money from several people for getting favours from senior government functionaries.
However, the agency’s spokesperson declined to comment on remarks by the government and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) that CBI chief Alok Kumar
Verma, who has been divested of all responsibilities, had not been cooperating with the CVC’s inquiry into allegations made by Mr. Asthana against him through a letter on August 24 to the Cabinet Secretary.
Denying the allegations of non-compliance, then reported in a section of the media, the CBI had on September 21 said that many of the files sought by the CVC had already been handed over and other papers were being shared.
The agency was working normally and its officials’ morale was high, said the CBI spokesperson. No changes had been made in teams probing cases other than the one against Mr. Asthana. Both Mr. Verma and Mr. Asthana did not visit the CBI headquarters on Wednesday.
The Special Investigation Team, which was headed by Mr. Asthana, would continue to investigate important cases like those against Vijay Mallya and AgustaWestland, the CBI said.
On the charge that the FIR lodged against Mr. Asthana had not been reported to the CVC in time, the CBI said it could not answer queries made to the then Director. “We will reply if the CVC sends fresh queries,” said the official.