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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Rakesh Asthana case: CBI conducts lie-detector test on complainant and accused

According to a CBI official familiar with the developments, a polygraph test was necessary since the allegations against Rakesh Asthana were serious in nature.

india Updated: May 07, 2019 09:15 IST
Neeraj Chauhan
Neeraj Chauhan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sathish Sana had filed a case against CBI Special Director Asthana last October
Sathish Sana had filed a case against CBI Special Director Asthana last October (File Photo)

CBI has conducted a polygraph test, popularly known as a lie-detector test, on the complainant and an accused in its case against the agency’s former special director Rakesh Asthana registered on October 15 last year.

A Central Bureau of Investigation official familiar with the developments said the lie-detector test on Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Sana Babu has been conducted to ascertain if he had lied about paying a bribe worth around Rs 3 crore to Dubai based brothers – Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad – on behalf of Asthana.

The bribe was allegedly paid to protect him in a probe the agency had registered in 2016 against controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi, as alleged in the first information report (FIR) registered on his complaint.

The agency also conducted the lie-detector test on Somesh Prasad. Manoj Prasad, who was arrested by the CBI and is now out on bail, had refused to give consent for a polygraph test.

The CBI officer asserted that the polygraph test had become necessary since the allegations were serious in nature and Sana had given specific details of his alleged meetings and conversations with the Prasad brothers from 2017.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had also recorded Sana’s statement during which he went back from some of the claims so the federal probe agency recently asked to verify them, said a second CBI officer requesting anonymity.

Subsequently, the officer added, CBI wanted to know how Sana met another officer of the agency in the first week of October 2018 and went to a Delhi district court to record the statement under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) before a magistrate recording his allegations against Asthana.

The CBI has already questioned Sana a couple of times in the case. It has also recently sent a request to the UAE seeking information on Manoj and Somesh Prasad, as the alleged crime originated there according to Sana’s allegations in the FIR.

Sana had claimed the Prasads promised him immunity in Moin Qureshi case through “good connections” in the CBI. According to Sana, he met them in Dubai and also allegedly paid initial bribes there.

Sana had been summoned by CBI’s deputy superintendent of police Devender Kumar, who was investigating the Moin Qureshi case, on October 9, 2018. However, he became a CBI complainant by October 15, 2018, and filed a case against Asthana. Kumar worked in a team led by Asthana in CBI last year and was named along with the 1984 batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer in the FIR.

Asthana had contested the FIR in Delhi high court, saying it was fabricated to ‘falsely implicate’ him but the court allowed the agency to continue with the investigation. The agency, in a recent hearing, asked for six months’ time to complete the probe.

It was after the registration of this FIR that an ugly feud between the then CBI director Alok Verma and Asthana came out in the public last year.

CVC has inquired into the counter-allegations of both the officers and recommended Verma’s removal from the agency. A high-powered committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after getting a go-ahead from the Supreme Court, removed Verma on January 10, 20 days before the last day of his tenure.

First Published: May 07, 2019 08:34 IST

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