Rakesh Asthana bribery case: Sons implicated, says father of alleged middlemen
Father of the alleged middlemen - Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad - says neither he nor his sons have ever met NSA Ajit Doval or CBI chief Rakesh Asthana.Updated: Dec 19, 2018, 11:38 IST
Dineshwar Prasad, father of the alleged middlemen in the Rakesh Asthana bribery case, Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad, on Tuesday said neither he nor his sons have any acquaintance with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval or Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Rakesh Asthana.
Manoj, who was arrested on October 16, was granted bail by a Patiala House court on Tuesday. The CBI under director Alok Verma in its FIR, registered on October 15, alleged that the Prasad brothers acted as middlemen on behalf of Asthana and tried to save Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Satish Babu from CBI action in the case against controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi. The FIR was registered on the complaint of Satish Babu.
CBI officials have subsequently claimed that during and soon after his arrest Manoj boasted of his proximity to Doval.
“Neither my sons nor I have never met Doval or Asthana. My sons have been implicated in the case for reasons that are not known to me yet,” said Prasad, who is a former mid-ranking official from the external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). He retired from R&AW in 2000.
Prasad told HT that while in service, he was posted in Dubai between 1994 and 1998.
“That’s how I know senior R&AW official Samant Goel. Goel was my junior in R&AW. So when my son was arrested by CBI for no reason, I called up Goel and sought his help. But even while in service I never met Doval,” said Prasad.
The CBI FIR states that Somesh and Manoj were in touch with Goel who further was in touch with Rakesh Asthana. Both Asthana and Goel belong to the 1984 batch of Indian Police Service.
“My second son Somesh is in Dubai. He could not come to India since he was not well but he too will come back soon,” added Prasad.
The CBI FIR against Asthana came around 45 days after he wrote to a letter to the cabinet secretary alleging corruption on the part of director Verma. Subsequently, on October 23, the government divested both Verma and Asthana, whose internecine fight had roiled the agency, from their duties at CBI. Verma has challenged this in the Supreme Court which has reserved its judgement in the case.
After the forced departure of director and the special director from the scene, the government made the senior most joint director M Nageswara Rao as the CBI’s acting chief. On Tuesday, the government promoted him as additional director of the agency which was long due since he was already empanelled by the government to hold the rank of additional director general (ADG) or equivalent post at the centre.
CBI on Tuesday also examined Sana Satish Babu to verify his complaint and asked him to clarify discrepancies in it, said officials familiar with the development. Following the departure of Verma, the acting director constituted a new investigation team, which examined Babu.