A.K. Bassi, the CBI officer who was investigating corruption allegations against Rakesh Asthana, has moved the Supreme Court seeking an SIT probe in the Moin Qureshi case and also challenging his transfer order.
In a controversial move taken on October 24, 2018, Bassi was taken off the investigation and transferred to Port Blaire. The order came pursuant to the appointment of Nageshwar Rao as interim chief of the investigating agency after CBI director Alok Verma was divested of all powers. In his plea, Bassi has claimed that he has gathered incriminating evidence, including phone calls and whatsApp messages, against Rakesh Asthana.
Asthana is named as a prime accused in an FIR filed on October 15, 2018, alleging that he had received kickbacks, amounting to Rs.2 crore, from Moin Qureshi, a meat exporter, to settle a money-laundering case against him. On October 26, 2018, the apex court taking into consideration a petition filed by Alok Verma along and a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause seeking SIT probe against Asthana had directed CVC to complete the enquiry against Verma within two weeks under the supervision of retired SC judge Justice A.K. Patnaik. Further, the Court had also directed Nageshwar Rao to produce all decisions taken by him with effect from October 23, 2018, before the Court for its scrutiny by November 12, 2018, which includes the transfer order impugned in Bassi’s petition.