Verma got an FIR registered against Mr Asthana based on Mr Sana’s statement that Mr Asthana had taken a Rs 3 crore bribe.
Hyderabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is waiting for the outcome of the ongoing Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe against Hyderabad-based businessman Satish Babu Sana before taking a call on whether to register a fresh case against Mr Sana and launch a parallel investigation into the activities of the businessman, whose nexus with certain politicians and bureaucrats is well known.
It may be recalled that it was Mr Sana’s statement that led to the internal war within the CBI and ended up in the removal of its then director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana last year. Mr Asthana in a note to the Centre had alleged that Mr Sana had told his team that Mr Verma had taken a loan of Rs 2 crore to help him in the Moin Qureshi case. Mr Verma got an FIR registered against Mr Asthana based on Mr Sana’s statement that Mr Asthana had taken a Rs 3 crore bribe.
Sources who are familiar with the developments surrounding Mr Sana, told this newspaper that though the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the CBI, that had earlier probed the graft and money laundering cases against controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi had sought to arrest both Mr Qureshi and Satish Babu Sana for their “dubious involvement” in the Moin Qureshi case, nothing came of it.
“For the Rakesh Asthana team in the CBI, Sana was seen as a bribe giver and Asthana had moved the proposal to arrest him on the grounds that he needs to be thoroughly interrogated to get at the bottom of the truth since all his versions are doubtful,” sources said. The proposal by Mr Asthana was moved in September last year but he alleged that his boss and CBI director Alok Verma had sent his proposal (of arresting Sana) to the Director of Prosecution in order to delay the arrest.
Sources said that keeping in mind the CBI vs CBI war, it was decided that the Sana probe be handled by the ED first, and based on the outcome, the CBI will decide the future course of action against Mr Sana.
“For the CBI, Sana is a complainant in the case against Rakesh Asthana. It will be interesting to see how they will proceed in this case and make a complainant in the case into an accused. The ED has done something similar as Sana was previously a witness in the (ED) case and has now been made an accused,” a senior official said.
Besides Mr Sana, the ED has investigated former CBI Director A.P. Singh in the Moin Qureshi case and sources said that if and when the CBI decides to register a fresh case against Mr Sana, there is the likelihood of Mr Singh being made an accused in the CBI case. “All the cases, be it in ED or CBI, are interlinked,” the sources said.
Sources said that the Delhi zone of the CBI is in close touch with the ED officials who are associated with the questioning of Mr Sana, and CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla is being briefed about the developments every few hours.
“This is a tricky situation for the CBI. But there is nothing stopping the agency to turn a complainant in the case as accused and probe him. As for Satish Babu Sana’s case, there are multiple angles that the agencies together can probe,” one official said.