No proof linking bribe with Sana’s middleman: CBI to court
Sana has claimed to have delivered the money to Sunil Mittal, father-in-law of Dubai-based Someshwar Srivastava, also known as Somesh Prasad in the CBI case.Updated: Feb 13, 2020 03:42 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday informed a court it had no call recordings or hard evidence to prove that Rs 1.95 crore allegedly meant to be paid to public servants, including then CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, was delivered to a middleman on December 13, 2017 on behalf of Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana.
Sana has claimed to have delivered the money to Sunil Mittal, father-in-law of Dubai-based Someshwar Srivastava, also known as Somesh Prasad in the CBI case.
The investigating officer – Satish Dagar – also informed special CBI judge Sanjeev Aggarwal that there was no corroborative evidence of Sana’s claim that he had made another payment of Rs 1 crore to middleman and Somesh’s brother Manoj Prasad in Dubai sometime in 2017 as part of an alleged Rs 5 crore bribe to save himself from a probe against controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Sana has claimed that he had arranged the Rs 1 crore in Dubai through his friend Yahya Abraham.
CBI has, however, recovered WhatsApp pictures and travel details establishing Sana’s meetings with brothers Manoj and Somesh Prasad in Dubai, Dagar said.
The IO claimed Punit Kharbanda, an employee of Sana, who is alleged to have arranged cash from Hyderabad and delivered it in Delhi to Mittal, was “deceptive” in his polygraph test. CBI’s disclosures come at a time the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is preparing to file a charge sheet against Sana in its probe against Qureshi. An ED officer said the charge sheet against Sana might be filed on Thursday.
In the FIR on a complaint from Sana by then CBI director Alok Verma in 2018 against Asthana and deputy superintendent Devender Kumar, it was alleged that Rs 1 crore was paid to Manoj Prasad and Rs 1.95 crore to Somesh Prasad’s father-in- law and it was meant for CBI officers. Asthana and Devender were given a clean chit by the agency on Tuesday.
During the hearing, the judge lashed out at the CBI for arresting Devender and “ruining his career”.
“Why did you arrest your own DSP when the main player (Someshwar), who promised to influence the CBI officers, is to be put behind bars? You arrested the DSP, sent him to jail and now you have put him in Column 12 in the charge sheet (giving a clean chit). You have ruined his career,” the special CBI Judge told the IO. Aggarwal listed the matter for hearing on February 19.