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Additional SP SS Gurm who was part of the team investigating graft cases against Asthana had been transferred by interim chief Nageswara Rao to Jabalpur

Yet another CBI officer who was probing the agency’s special director, Rakesh Asthana, in six graft cases and was transferred mid-way into the investigation by interim CBI chief M Nageswara Rao has sought legal recourse challenging the orders.

On Wednesday (October 31), CBI additional SP SS Gurm, who was transferred to Jabalpur on October 24, moved the Delhi High Court against the transfer order issued by Rao hours after he took over as the interim CBI chief following the Centre’s decision to divest Asthana and CBI director Alok Verma of all responsibilities and sending them on leave.

Earlier, senior CBI officer AK Bassi, who was leading the investigations against Asthana and, like Gurm, was also transferred out of Delhi (Bassi was posted to Port Blair with immediate effect, forcing him to go on leave) had also challenged Rao’s orders in the Supreme Court.

In his plea before the Delhi High Court, Gurm has requested that he should be heard in the case filed by CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana. Asthana had moved the Delhi High Court earlier this month seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him by the CBI in a Rs 3 crore bribe case linked to Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana and meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Gurm has submitted in his petition that Asthana was “misleading” the court and that the new CBI dispensation and the team now in place, under Rao’s orders, to carry forward the investigation against the special director in at least six corruption cases, was trying to protect the graft-tainted officer.

Bassi has made similar charges against the CBI in his plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and urged that records of technical surveillance against Asthana must be called for by the court.

— India Legal Bureau

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