Rakesh Asthana (File Photo).
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday asked CBI to respond to a plea by a businessman in a bribery case, allegedly involving the agency's former special director Rakesh Asthana, seeking permission to travel to Dubai where his family resides.
Justice A K Pathak issued notice to the CBI on the plea of Someshwar Srivastav, who said he was residing in Dubai along with his wife and children and has been in India after being called to join the investigation in the case.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on July 25.
Srivastav is the brother of alleged middleman Manoj Prasad, also an accused in the case.
Senior advocate N Hariharan, representing Srivastav, said he came to India in January and has cooperated in the investigation and did not default even once.
The counsel said Srivastav was asked by the investigating officer of the case to not return to Dubai without prior permission and he had sent an email to CBI seeking permission to Dubai to meet his family.
He said his residency rights would be curtailed if he remains out of country (Dubai) beyond July 12, 2019, for a continuous period of six months.
In case residency rights are revoked, his children will be removed from the school and family will be deported, he claimed.
The counsel claimed that Srivastav has no source of income in India and his family is surviving on savings there.
The CBI had registered an FIR in October last year, alleging that Srivastav and Prasad acted as middlemen on behalf of Asthana and tried to save Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Satish Babu from CBI action in the case against controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi. The FIR was registered on the complaint of Babu.
The CBI FIR alleged that Srivastav and Prasad were in touch with an official from RAW who was in contact with Asthana.
Asthana was booked on the allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
CBI DSP Devender Kumar, earlier the investigating officer in a case involving Qureshi, was arrested on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of Sana, who had allegedly paid bribe to get relief in the case.
He was arrested on October 22, 2018 and granted bail on October 31.
The high court had in January dismissed the pleas of Asthana, Kumar and Prasad seeking quashing of the FIR against them.
In May, the court had allowed the CBI plea seeking extension of time by four months to complete investigation in the case.