Asthana case: SC won’t interfere in questioning of complainant

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the questioning of a complainant in a bribery case relating to CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

Hyderabad-based businessman Satish Sana Babu had claimed that he paid Rs 2 crore for being dropped from a case relating to meat exporter Moin Qureshi, which is at the centre of the bribery allegation that has brought about an impasse in the CBI, with its Director Alok Verma sent on leave on October 23.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice K.M. Joseph also directed the Hyderabad police to give protection to Sana as he fears for his life.

The court, however, refused to pass any order on Sana’s plea that his questioning by the agency be done in the presence of former apex court Judge A.K. Patnaik under whose supervision the Central Vigilance Commission is inquiring into the allegation against CBI Director Alok Verma who has been divested of his responsibilities.

The bench said it would not pass any order asking Justice Patnaik, as senior counsel Raju Ramachandran said that the “integrity of the task given to the former judge would be affected….”