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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

Hyderabad businessman who played key role in CBI vs CBI arrested by ED

Sana Satish Babu’s arrest is a vindication of the stand taken by the ex-CBI special director Rakesh Asthana who had taken on his boss in the agency Alok Verma.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2019 00:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Rakesh Asthana, who was overseeing the CBI’s special team put together to probe a bunch of complaints against Moin Qureshi, had pushed for Sana Satish Babu’s arrest and custodial interrogation along with a few others in this case.
Rakesh Asthana, who was overseeing the CBI’s special team put together to probe a bunch of complaints against Moin Qureshi, had pushed for Sana Satish Babu’s arrest and custodial interrogation along with a few others in this case.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
         

Sana Satish Babu, the Hyderabad-based businessman whose case was at the centre of the tug of war between the CBI’s two top officers last year, has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case involving controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

He was questioned on Friday and placed under arrest late in the evening after investigators at the federal agency for financial crimes found him to be non-cooperative. A Delhi court later remanded him in ED custody for five days

Sana Satish Babu’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate is seen as a vindication of the stand taken by the ex-CBI special director Rakesh Asthana who had taken on his boss in the agency Alok Verma last year.

Asthana, who was overseeing the CBI’s special team put together to probe a bunch of complaints against Moin Qureshi, had pushed for Sana Satish Babu’s arrest and custodial interrogation along with a few others in this case.

Asthana’s team was convinced about Sana Satish Babu’s role in the cases being probed by the CBI against Moin Qureshi. They also alleged that Babu had paid off some agency officials including the then director Alok Verma to stay out of trouble.

Officials said it was around this time that Sana Satish Babu, an accused in the case, filed a corruption complaint against Rakesh Asthana. In the FIR registered by the CBI in October last year, Babu alleged that he had paid a Rs 2 crore bribe to Asthana to be spared any action in the investigation linked to Qureshi. The money, he alleged, was paid over a 10-month period -- starting from December 2017.

But Asthana had complained to cabinet secretary Pradeep Sinha two months earlier that Verma, then the CBI director, had called him in February to call off the questioning of the Hyderabad-based businessman. Asthana alleged that Sana Satish Babu was being protected by Verma under a monetary deal of Rs 2 crore.

Both officers, Verma and Asthana, have denied the charges against them.

The government stepped in remove both officers and sent them on forced leave after Alok Verma ordered the arrest of a CBI officer who was part of Asthana’s team. The government had learnt special director Rakesh Asthana would have been next. .

Alok Verma was eventually sacked from the CBI. Rakesh Asthana, on the other hand, was appointed as chief of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the agency that oversees security for the country’s aviation sector.