CBI row: AK Bassi challenges transfer in SC, claims ‘incriminating evidence’ against Rakesh Asthana

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New Delhi, Oct 30: Amid the ongoing turmoil in the Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI officer AK Bassi Tuesday moved the Supreme Court challenging his transfer to Andaman and Nicobar. Bassi who was heading the probe in bribery allegations against agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana told the court he had “incriminating evidence” related to the case and asked for a SIT probe against the officer. The apex court, however, declined the urgent hearing.
M Nageshwar Rao, the interim CBI chief, had ordered a reshuffle of the team probing allegations against Asthana, immediately after he took charge. Key among the reshuffles was the marginalisation of Joint Director (Policy) A K Sharma and transfer of Deputy SP Ajay Kumar Bassi. While Sharma was transferred to the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) of CBI, Bassi was moved to the agency’s office in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar. The order directed him to “join his new place of posting with immediate effect in public interest”.
While several other officers were transferred by Rao, CBI Director Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana were divested of their powers by the government. Both Asthana and Verma challenged the order in the apex court.
The Supreme Court, while hearing Verma’s plea last week had said Nageswar Rao cannot take any policy decisions and will only look after the day-to-day administrative affairs of the agency. The court had also asked for all transfer decisions taken by Rao in a sealed cover.
Asthana, in a letter to Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) recently, had alleged that Bassi and Deputy SP Ashwani Gupta were of “doubtful integrity” and had been sent on a “roving enquiry” to Vadodara to somehow connect him to the Sandesara family, prime accused in the Sterling Biotech case.
Both Bassi and Dubey, working under A K Sharma, were probing the 2016 wedding of Rakesh Asthana’s daughter.