New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) two more months to complete the probe in a bribery case allegedly involving the agency’s former special director Rakesh Asthana. This is the second time that the agency has been given an extension in the probe.

The high court on 31 May had granted CBI four months to complete the probe in the case which also involves deputy superintendent Devender Kumar and middleman Manoj Prasad.

CBI counsel additional solicitor general Vikramjit Bannerjee had said the agency required a minimum three months to complete the investigation, saying that replies to Letter Rogatory (LR) sent to the US on 12 September and one to United Arab Emirates last week was awaited.

Justice Vibhu Bhakru granted the CBI two months’ time and said no additional time would be granted.

Asthana spearheaded probes in the AugustaWestland and Bihar fodder cases, and also the probe against businessman Vijay Mallya.

The CBI had registered a case against Asthana alleging criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, following an FIR against Asthana, Kumar and two others accusing them of taking bribes at least five times between December 2017 and October 2018 in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

In January, the high Court refused to quash the FIR against Asthana, Kumar and Prasad and directed the CBI to conclude the probe within 10 weeks.


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