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Home / India News / Covid-19: CBI postpones non-urgent interrogations for two weeks

Covid-19: CBI postpones non-urgent interrogations for two weeks

The officers have also been asked to avoid meetings and social gathering during breakfast, lunch and tea breaks, according to a CBI advisory in the wake of rising number of Covid-19 patients.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2020 08:32 IST
Neeraj Chauhan
Neeraj Chauhan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
An outside view of CBI headquarters in New Delhi.
An outside view of CBI headquarters in New Delhi. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

With Covid-19 positive cases increasing day-by-day across the country, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has asked all its branches to suspend all the non-urgent interrogations/recording of witness statements till April 4, officials familiar with the development told HT.

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Only the accused persons who are directed by the courts to present themselves before the CBI officers will be called by the agency.

CBI director Rishi Kumar Shukla, through an advisory reviewed by HT, has also asked all the officers to undertake necessary correspondence on official email and avoid sending files and documents to other offices as much as possible. This, an officer explained, also means that CBI is not likely to conduct any raids for the next few weeks unless it is ‘really urgent’ or “there are chances of accused destroying the evidence.”

The officers have also been asked to avoid meetings and social gathering during breakfast, lunch and tea breaks. Meetings where presence of more than five officials is required should be rescheduled or avoided, the advisory states.

The working of Group B and C staff of agency has also been divided - 50 per cent in have been asked to come to office and the other half will work from home. Shukla has directed that those working from home will have to give an undertaking that they will be available for work and not treat this facility as a “vacation” or “holiday to travel”.

Another officer said, “The important investigations will not be affected at all as we are working on rotation. Everybody is available on phone or email. CBI’s probes are usually document based and summoning of accused can always resume after two-three weeks”.

CBI teams investigating two cases against Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor are also likely to take a call by Monday morning if they should postpone seeking his remand till next month, an official said. The agency had on Friday obtained production warrant against him from a Mumbai court.

On the other hand, the ED is continuously calling accused persons at its offices. After finishing interrogation of Rana Kapoor, he was sent to judicial custody on Friday. The anti-money laundering agency questioned Essel Group Chief Subhash Chandra on Saturday in its Yes Bank probe.

“I have been requested by the ED to make a statement on the information which is already available with them. I will be more than happy to be personally present at their office, honouring their request, in order to extend all the required co-operation,” Chandra had tweeted on March 20.

“The Essel Group has never made any transactions with Mr Rana Kapoor or his family or for that matter any private entities controlled by them,” he added.