The CBI on Tuesday examined Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana to verify and corroborate his statement on the basis of which the agency had filed a bribery case against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana in midst of his ugly spat with Director Alok Verma.
A new Central Bureau of Investigation team constituted by interim Director M. Nageswara Rao asked Sana to clarify “discrepancies” in his complaint against Asthana, sources said.
The team was formed immediately after the government sent Verma and Asthana on forced leave on October 23 in the wake of a feud between them. Rao had reconstituted the team and transferred the members of erstwhile team.
The CBI questioned Sana to verify his October 4 and October 16 statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of Crimianl Procedure Code about his meetings with various middlemen in New Delhi as well as Dubai that led the agency to lodge an FIR. The statement recorded before the magistrate is considered a confessional statement and in case the complainant withdraws from it, the prosecuting agency can file a perjury case.
An accused in meat exporter Moin Qureshi case, Sana has sought relief from court from the repeated CBI summons issued against him. A CBI team probing a corruption case against Qureshi which was headed by Asthana claimed by Sana was issuing summons against him.
Sana has alleged in a complaint to CBI, which is part of FIR, that investment banker Manoj Prasad had assured him of relief from CBI summons if he agreed to pay Rs 5-crore bribe.
The Hyderabad businessman has also alleged that he was assured by Prasad that his brother Somesh manages investments of Asthana in London and he is in touch with two other senior officers of various agencies.
Prasad was arrested by the CBI on October 16 when he was returning from Dubai to allegedly collect a part of the bribe.
As per the CBI, it has detected five alleged payments to middlemen by Sana — Rs 1 crore on December 10, 2017, Rs 1.95 crore on December 13, 2017, Rs 25 lakh on October 10, 2018 and two tranche of 25,000 Dirham and 3,000 Dirham on October 14.
The CBI claims that it has corroborated details of payment with phone intercepts, WhatsApp messages recovered from the phone of middleman Prasad, and tower locations to buttress its charges.