CBI suspends DSP Devender, adds news charges in FIR

CBI suspends DSP Devender, adds news charges in FIR

CBI suspends DSP Devender, adds news charges in FIR

New Delhi: The Central Bureau Investigation on Tuesday suspended its DSP Devender Kumar, who was arrested on Monday on the charge of falsification of records while probing allegations against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, and added five new sections into the existing bribery FIR lodged against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

“Devender Kumar has been suspended from his duties as per the procedure,” a CBI official said.

Kumar, an Investigating Officer in a case against Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption, was arrested on Monday on the charge of falsification of records. A trial court on Tuesday sent Kumar to CBI custody for seven days.

The CBI said it has added five new sections under Indian Penal Code, comprising extortion and forgery of documents, in the bribery FIR it had registered against Asthana, Kumar and two private persons — Manoj Prasad and his brother Somesh Prasad — on October 15. The agency said it has also informed the trial court regarding the move.

CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said the move is a “routine procedure” and that new sections are added in any FIR when new evidences come to light.

A copy of the earlier FIR has already been sent to the Central Vigilance Commission, said the CBI.

The premier probe agency has alleged that bribes were taken at least five times between December 2017 and October this year.

Asthana, a 1984 batch Indian Police Service officer of Gujarat cadre, is accused of accepting a bribe of Rs two crore from a Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana who was under probe in the Qureshi case in order to “wreck” the investigation. The case was being examined by a special investigation team (SIT) headed by Asthana.

Responding to queries over Asthana’s current role and power in the agency, the CBI Spokesperson said there was “no change in responsibilities” of the the second-in-command so far. He also said that the agency had no knowledge about Asthana’s suspension and repatriation recommendation, if any, made to Prime Minister’s Office or a ministry.

The CBI said that the court has stopped it from “coercive action” against Asthana, which means he can neither be raided nor arrested, but, if required, he can be “examined”.

The agency said all electronic materials seized during the raid conducted on Saturday at the office and residence of arrested CBI DSP Kumar will be preserved as per the court order.

The CBI also denied the allegations levelled by Kumar that the agency had taken his signature on a blank paper.