New Delhi -°C
Today in New Delhi, India

Aug 17, 2019-Saturday
-°C

Humidity
-

Wind
-

Select city

Metro cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata

Other cities - Noida, Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bhopal , Chandigarh , Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi

Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Businessman at centre of CBI vs CBI row arrested

Special Judge S Malik remanded businessman Sana Satish Babu in five days in custody on Saturday

india Updated: Jul 28, 2019 01:11 IST
Sudhi Ranjan Sen and Richa Banka
Sudhi Ranjan Sen and Richa Banka
New Delhi
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested a Hyderabad-based businessman who filed the complaint that prompted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a case of corruption against its own former second-in-command, Rakesh Asthana, and triggered upheaval in the top echelons of the agency.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested a Hyderabad-based businessman who filed the complaint that prompted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a case of corruption against its own former second-in-command, Rakesh Asthana, and triggered upheaval in the top echelons of the agency.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
         

New Delhi The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested a Hyderabad-based businessman who filed the complaint that prompted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a case of corruption against its own former second-in-command, Rakesh Asthana, and triggered upheaval in the top echelons of the agency.

Special Judge S Malik remanded Sana Satish Babu to five days in custody on Saturday. He was arrested on Friday night under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Until now, the ED has been treating Sana as a witness in its probe of controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi for suspected money laundering and bribing of government officials.

On October 15, the CBI registered a first information report against Asthana based on a complaint by Sana that two Dubai-based middlemen had agreed to take Rs.5 crore from him from the agency’s investigation of Qureshi. The agency alleged that the middlemen, brothers Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad, were acting on behalf of Asthana, who was supervising the case.

The complaint followed a long feud between Asthana and CBI director Alok Verma that spilled into the open, and ended with the exit of both men, who traded allegations of corruptions, from the premier investigating agency. Verma quit the Indian Police Service in January, days before his retirement, after turning down the post of director-general of fire services, civil defence and home guards.. Asthana was appointed head of aviation security.

A Rs 50 lakh share purchase deal between Sana and Qureshi, which officials suspect was used to channel bribes, was the reason for Sana’s arrest, a government lawyer said. Funds were shown in the books as having been transferred as a payment for shares, which never really changed hands.

“He {Sana} said that he had bought the shares but there was no money transferred and that company is Moin Qureshi’s company. The shares that he bought do not exist. If you have been given the money for some work, then you will ask it back if the work is not done. But if you don’t ask it back, then these are ways of paying bribes,” special public prosecutor D P Singh said.

Sana was summoned for questioning by the ED to Delhi on Friday and arrested late in the night.

Asthana has alleged that Sana paid a bribe to Verma to influence the probe against Qureshi. On 26 October 2018, the Supreme Court, hearing a case against the removal of Verma as director of CBI, formed a special committee to probe the allegations against Verma.

On the allegations of favours received by Verma from Sana, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in a report to the Supreme Court, said that while there was no “direct evidence of bribes” paid to Verma, because of “substantial circumstantial evidence the entire truth in the said allegation will come out if a thorough a criminal investigation is ordered.”

The CVC report also observes that “Satish Babu Sana is a habitual bribe payer who is not coming clean in his interrogation by the CBI. He is continuously changing his version which led the Branch Officers to move a proposal for his arrest on 12.09. 2019. However, the Director CBI referred the proposal for the Director Prosecution on 24.09.2018 which is not the normal practice in the CBI. The proposal could not see the light of days as another case (that against Rakesh Asthana RC 13/A/18/AC-III) was registered on 15.10.2018 and transferred to another branch. It has also been established that Director CBI asked Special Director {Asthana} as to whether Satish Babu Sana was called for questioning on 20.02.2018 and then told him that he should not be examined.”

The arrest of Sana is also likely to affect the CBI’s case against Asthana based on his complaint. Interestingly, the CBI which registered the case against Qureshi in February 2017, is yet to complete its probe. “Our investigations are still on, charge-sheet will be filed once the investigation is complete,” a CBI spokesperson said.

First Published: Jul 27, 2019 23:59 IST

more from india