Republic TV has accessed a sensational letter written by Rakesh Asthana to the Cabinet Secretary that reveals, apart from his responses to allegations directed his way, the precise reason why Asthana thinks Director CBI Alok Verma was biased and prejudiced against him.
In the letter, after listing out the allegations against him, Asthana proceeds to give a "brief background" to the circumstances behind Alok Verma and ED officer Rajeshwar Singh, whom he claims is very close to Verma, developing a bias and prejudice against him.
Asthana first emphasises the closeness of Alok Verma and Rajeshwar Singh by claiming that the CBI's confidential list of Undesirable Contact Men (UCM) was shared by Verma with Singh immediately after Verma assumed office, despite it being conveyed during Asthana's time as interim DCBI (following Anil Sinha's superannuation) that the list can't be shared with other agencies so as to maintain confidentiality.
(NOTE: Everything below here is claimed by Asthana in his letter, the relevant sections of which are also reproduced)
"Before Alok Verma took charge of the CBI, as Commissioner of the Delhi Police, he had forwarded the names of Rajender Upadhyay for induction as JD in CBI to the undersigned (Asthana), who was then acting DCBI. The letter was marked to the internal vigilance unit' for verification, which, however, revealed "adverse conduct."
"Earlier, Upadhyay's induction into CBI on deputation as SP was considered during the time that he was DCP in the Delhi Police. Because of adverse inputs regarding his integrity, his induction was not cleared by the CBI's internal vigilance unit."
"In 2011-12, Upadhyay was on deputation at the ED, at which time his phone, as well as those of ED officers Rajeshwar Singh and Vikas Mehta had been placed under surveillance by the CBI. Surveillance revealed that all three were using Nepal SIM cards to avoid surveillance by Indian agencies. The surveillance was destroyed after six months as no criminal case was registered on its basis."
"As the internal vigilance unit's Joint Director Sai Manohar was aware of this, Upadhyay's name was not recommended even though Alok Verma has called and asked him specifically to clear the name. At this point, Alok Verma, then DCBI overruled the Internal Vigilance Unit's input and forwarded Upadhahay's name to DoPT for induction. Still, he's not been inducted to the CBI till now."
Asthana then goes on to detail how Upadhyay had "adverse remarks" made against the Chandigarh Police's investigations in certain cases by the Punjab and Haryana High Court at the time that he was IG Chandigarh. "These cases were investigated by RC Meena, DSP Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Chandigarh Police, who was caught demanding and accepting illegal gratification of Rs 40 lakh by the CBI for not arresting some accused named in the FIR and for compromising the case. Conversations recorded regarding this includes the accused mentioning that the gratification included a share to then IG Chandigarh RP Upadhyay. As no other corroborative evidence came on record, CBI didn't recommend any evidence."
Asthana then speaks of the induction of another officer, Rajeev Krishna. "Krishna's name was forwarded by KK Sharma, DG, BSF soon after Alok Verma became DCBI. Krishna's wife Meenakshi is an IRS officer and sister of Rajeshwar Singh, Joint Director ED."
"Even in Krishna's case, the Special Unit of the CBI had considered a proposal for his induction, but hadn't found him suitable because of "integrity issues". Meenakshi too wasn't able to get herself inducted into the CBI because of similar issues of integrity", Asthana states. "As a result, JD of the Internal vigilance unit Sai Manohar didn't recommend Krishna's induction. Again, DCBI Verma asked Manohar to clear Krishna's name, which was Manohar politely turned down."
"At this point, DCBI Verma again overruled the vigilance unit and forwarded Krishna's name to the DoPT for induction. However, before this was considered, the government of India repatriated him to UP after five years of deputation denying further extension."
Now, Asthana claims: "As Sai Manohar didn't change his adverse recommendation regarding the suitability of Upadhayay and Krishna, DCBI Verma divested him of charge of the internal vigilance unit."
"Alok Verma, DCBI, after this started mistrusting the undersigned (Asthana) under the suspicion that he was responsible for the non-induction of Upadhyay and Krishna into the CBI. This caused a bias and prejudice in the mind of Alok Verma against me and subsequent development of tarnishing of Asthana's image is an obvious outcome of that. "
"Aggrieved, Mr Rajeshwar Singh joined hands with Alok Verma for obvious reasons, to tarnish my image and scuttle my promotion. They have been continuously leaking information, records and documents to Mr Subramanian Swamy as well as planting false news stories in the media to besmirch my reputation, which is causing immense anguish to the undersigned (Asthana). It has been ensured that cases against ED officials which were registered in the CBI under the fear that investigation might reveal the nefarious activities of corrupt ED officials, particularly, their nexus with Rajeshwar Singh, are moved out of my supervision."
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