Supreme Court orders protection for businessman Sana Satish Babu who accused CBI no. 2 Rakesh Asthana of corruption

The Supreme Court said on Tuesday businessman Sana Satish Babu, whose complaint had prompted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a case against its special director Rakesh Asthana, will get police protection after he alleged a threat to his life.

The top court, however, refused to stay the CBI notice asking Sana to join the investigation. The Hyderabad-based businessman had moved the court on Monday asking for police protection and a stay on the CBI’s notice summoning him for interrogation.

Sana had referred to the top court’s October 26 order on Verma’s petition. He pleaded his statement be recorded before Justice AK Patnaik, who has been asked to monitor the probe against Verma. He also wrote to Justice Patnaik, stating his willingness to give statements under his supervision.

The CBI had booked Asthana on October 15 on the basis of Sana’s complaint. Sana is facing a probe in a 2017 case of tax evasion and money laundering involving controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi. He had claimed Asthana had helped him in his exoneration.

Babu has alleged that Dubai-based brothers — Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad — claimed that they were acting on behalf of the CBI special director and allegedly struck a deal for Rs 5 crore to protect him (Sana) in a case that the agency registered against Qureshi last year. Former CBI director AP Singh is also an accused in the case.

However, two months before the registration of the case, Asthana complained to cabinet secretary Pradeep Sinha that it was the CBI chief who asked him in February to call off the questioning of Sana, who was being protected by Verma under a Rs 2 crore deal. The cabinet secretary forwarded this complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

The agency has now named Babu as a witness in the case against Qureshi. Asthana wrote to the CVC that he recommended Babu’s arrest in the case in September. After the registration of the FIR against Asthana, the CBI arrested Prasad.

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