Middleman in Asthana bribery case granted bail
New Delhi : A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to Manoj Prasad, an alleged middleman in a corruption case involving Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
Special CBI judge Santosh Snehi Mann granted bail to Prasad, observing that no purpose would be served by keeping him behind bars.
Granting him bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties of the like amount, the court directed him to not leave the country without the permission and also mandated him to report to the CBI every Monday.
The CBI had on October 15 registered a case against Asthana for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 2 crore from one Sana Sathish Babu which was given through two middlemen -- Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad -- to wreck the probe against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
Manoj Prasad was arrested on October 17.
CBI's Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who is accused of falsifying records of the corruption case, was arrested on October 22. Kumar was granted bail by a trial court on October 31.
Kumar was an investigating officer in a case against Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption.
On October 24, CBI chief Alok Verma was divested of his charge and Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao was made the Interim Director.
Asthana was also divested of all his supervisory responsibilities.
The government took the decision after Verma and Asthana accused each other of accepting bribes.
Meanwhile, Prasad's father Dineshwar Prasad, a retired Research and Analysis Wing officer, claimed his son was falsely implicated in the case.
"Manoj has never spoken to or ever met Asthana. The entire matter looks so fishy and fabricated," the father told a TV channel.