‘Union Minister Took Crores from Sathish Sana’: CBI Officer to SC
CBI Officer Manish Kumar Sinha told the Supreme Court on Monday, 19 November, that a Union minister had taken "a few crores" as bribe to intervene on the behalf of a Hyderabad-based businessman who is under the agency’s radar.
In a petition to the top court, Sinha said that businessman Sathish Sana had claimed to have paid the bribe to Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, presently the Minister of State for Coal and Mines.
Sinha had petitioned the apex court against his transfer to Nagpur, saying that the move was "aimed at changing the course of investigation" to help CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
Before being transferred, Sinha was investigating the allegations of Asthana accepting a bribe to help Sana in the CBI case against meat exporter and hawala dealer Moin Qureshi.
CBI Director Alok Verma and his deputy Asthana are under investigation after the two accused each other of bribery and corruption, triggering a crisis at the central agency.
Sinha also said in his petition that he had "documents that will shock the court.”
‘MoS Chaudhary Intervened’
Sana had reportedly told Sinha during an interrogation that the minister had intervened in the matter through the office of the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension – to whom the CBI Director reports to.
“The money was paid through one Vipul of Ahmedabad. These facts were disclosed by Sana to me on 20.10.2018 in the forenoon. I immediately reported the matter to the Director and the AD (AK Sharma),” Sinha claimed in his petition.
Sana has been accused in multiple cases being investigated against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, who is being investigated for alleged money laundering.
Sinha’s petition claimed that “discreet enquiries” were conducted and an intercepted call by “another central agency in first fortnight of June” revealed talks between K Laxma Reddy, MLA from Medchal, Hyderabad and Sana on money to the tune of one or two crores being sent.
Sinha, in his petition said, he didn’t know if any part of the the money allegedly paid to the minister Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary “was paid to any other higher-up in the CBI.”
However, he expressed hope that “if this lead is diligently pursued, the truth would eventually come to light.”
‘Law Secretary Involved Too’
The CBI officer has alleged that many government officials have tried to intervene in the case, including Law Secretary Suresh Chandra.
The Supreme Court rejected Sinha’s request for an urgent hearing on Monday. It is likely to be taken up by court on Tuesday, 20 November, while hearing the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report on Verma’s case.
CBI Director Alok Verma on Monday submitted his response to the report by the CVC, which is probing corruption charges against him, after the Supreme Court granted him additional time to make the submission.