The court was hearing an application by the CBI to extend the duration for the probe. Rajdipa Behura, who was representing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), again sought six months to complete the investigation. After being questioned on the timeframe being this long, the CBI counsel sought four months.
It wanted time to send Letters Rogatory to other countries in connection with the investigation.
“When did it come to your notice that you need to send LRs (Letters Rogatory) to other countries? Tell me when they found out. You work at a snails pace. I know how a bureaucratic setup works. Give me in a sealed cover every detailed thing and when and how things have progressed." said Justice Mukta Gupta.
The next date of hearing has been fixed on April 23, 2019.
The Delhi High Court had on January 11 dismissed petitions by Asthana and others seeking quashing of an FIR against them on corruption and bribery charges. The court, ruling on the petition by Asthana, deputy superintendent (DSP) Devender Kumar and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad, had also directed the CBI to complete its investigation in the case within 10 weeks.
The CBI had registered a case of criminal conspiracy and corruption against Asthana in October 2018. Asthana has spearheaded probes in the AgustaWestland and Bihar fodder cases, and the probe against businessman Vijay Mallya.
The high court verdict dismissing Asthana’s plea comes against the backdrop of the row between him and former CBI chief Alok Verma which became public late last year and the unprecedented churn within the CBI that followed.