Aircel – Maxis Scam probe: The Heroes and the Villain in CBI

A list of three individuals in the CBI and their contributions in charge sheeting P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis scam

A list of three individuals in the CBI and their contributions in charge sheeting P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis scam
A list of three individuals in the CBI and their contributions in charge sheeting P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis scam

July 19, 2018, will be marked as a historic day in the fight against corruption in India. Interestingly so, this Narendra Modi-led BJP government was voted to power in 2014 mainly on an anti-corruption campaign. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has on July 19 filed the charge sheet against the former tainted Finance & Home Minister P Chidambaram in the Aircel – Maxis case. CBI apparently has been investigating this case for many years now. That brings us to the most important question – why then did it take the premier agency so long to file the charge sheet? Who are the heroes and the villain in the Aircel-Maxis probe of CBI? People of India must know the truth.

The Villain

Rakesh Asthana, CBI Special Director

In April 2016, Rakesh Asthana was posted as Additional Director of the CBI. Between then and now, he has served as Additional Director, Acting/ Interim director of the CBI for a brief period after Anil Sinha demitted office as CBI director on December 2, 2016 and later became Special Director. Ever since his appointment, Asthana has been handling high profile cases, including that of P Chidambaram and Vijay Mallya.

In October 2017, the CBI Director Alok Verma had, in writing, opposed the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the Special Director CBI, in the selection meeting chaired by the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), on the grounds that the CBI was investigating Rakesh Asthana for accepting money of Rs.3.8 crores in the case of Sandesara Group and its sister concern Sterling Biotech of Gujarat[1]. However, the CVC did not consider the recommendations of the CBI Director and Asthana’s promotion order was issued within 24 hours.

Why did Asthana not investigate P Chidambaram for close to two years, ever since he was appointed as Additional Director CBI? If one places the different pieces of this jigsaw puzzle, the answer is obvious. In a search conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in the residence of P Chidambaram in Delhi, certain incriminating “top-secret” documents of the CBI, which were to be submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope, were found. The Supreme Court had made very strong observations about the delay in the completion of investigations and filing of charge sheet in the case in a time-bound manner. The loud noises of the Supreme Court got lost on the deaf ears of Asthana.

In April 2018, the CBI Director had divested Rakesh Asthana of high profile investigations except Augusta Westland and Bofors cases. The rudderless investigation gathered steam under the new Additional Director AK Sharma. And in less than 5 months, the charge sheet has been filed on completion of the investigations.

This poses some very serious questions – why did Rakesh Asthana sit on Chidambaram investigations for close to 2 years? Why was he hoodwinking the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Supreme Court about the progress being made in the case? Why was he trying to protect tainted Chidambaram and did he have instructions from anyone in the establishment to do so? And finally, why were a few bureaucrats misinforming and misleading Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this issue?

We wonder if this is all because Rakesh Asthana spends more time in planting stories against the CBI and ED officers in media outlets, including in the website “whispers in the corridors” through a retired Public Relations Officer of the Border Security Force (BSF)!

The Heroes

Alok Verma, CBI Director

Never in the history of the CBI, was there ever a scenario, wherein the Director had to fight elements within his own organisation to push the anti-corruption agenda. Not only did the Director make the extraordinary move to oppose in writing the promotion of tainted Rakesh Asthana before the CVC selection committee but he also went ahead with the investigation of Chidambaram and son Karti by shifting the case from Asthana to A K Sharma. When Asthana tried to manipulate the induction of several officers into the CBI, the Director, who was away from India, communicated to the CVC Selection committee in July 2018 that Asthana was not entitled to represent the CBI Director as he was presently being investigated by the agency.

A K Sharma, Additional Director, CBI

Senior IPS officer from the 1987 batch of the Gujarat cadre, he was previously working as the Joint Director, CBI and on promotion was retained as the Additional Director. In April 2018, the Director entrusted the investigation of the Aircel-Maxis case with him and in what may appear to be a miraculous pace, the investigations have been completed and charge sheet filed against the father-son duo on July 19, 2018.

It would not be out of context here to mention that the entire investigations against Chidambaram gained momentum after the ED – IT joint raids in December 2015 in Chennai and the ED Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh went ahead with attaching the assets of Karti Chidambaram in October 2017 which has been upheld by the Adjudicating Authority under the PMLA. The ED has filed charge sheet against Karti on June 13 and is expected to charge sheet Chidambaram shortly. It is pertinent to mention that the promotion of the bold officer Rajeshwar Singh as Additional Director has been withheld for 10 months now and he has been consistently hounded by the Lutyens cabal.

The ED Chief Karnal Singh’s leadership qualities have energised the organisation. The upright senior IPS officer Karnal Singh deserves credit for making the Enforcement Directorate into a powerful entity.

References:

[1] CVC meeting minutes expose how CVC selected Asthana over the CBI Director’s objectionsNov 25, 2017, PGurus.com

Team PGurus

We are a team of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Our Judiciary need a grand Swachh Bharat Abhiyan against corruption than any other system in India. There is even bigger garbage mountain than the outskirts of Delhi.

  2. A simple formula for checking corruption level of an individual – Check his/her family’s financial background history.

  3. Whether CVC approves or not, it is the Government, particularly MHA appoints these senior officers of CBI. If R Asthana was corrupt and went on go slow in Aircell Maxis case, (I) how come MHA allowed his posting? (ii) Why should the case should continue to be heard by Judge O.P. Saini, when he has already allowed Marans, A.Raja etc to go scot free in this case and Telecom case (iii) is it not possible for CBI Prosecutor to ask for a different Judge?

  4. There is a video on youtube where Prashant Bhushan alleges that Rakesh Asthana is Modi’s (and Amit Shah’s) man and he was brought into CBI only by them against norms. In fact Modi made him acting chief of CBI;but since SC objected to it, another officer was appointed as the chief and RAwas appointed a special director. His petition against the appointment was thrown out by SC.

    You have often stated that RA’s name was in the list of payments made by Sterling Biotech. If he as a COP had to be paid Rs.3.9 crores, SB ought to have received benefits from RA many times that amount. As COP what did he offer SB? He did not work with PC. Why should he protect PC?
    You may recall in a similar incident of raids, Modi’s name was found in a diary of Sahara having received crores as CM of Gujart. Does it mean he is also currupt? Or is RA acting as per the instructions of NaMo?
    In all these cases, I am with the late Cho, who told in 2012 itself that nothing will come out of CBI actions and nobody would be punished!

  5. There is a video on youtube where Prashant Bhushan alleges that Rakesh Asthana is Modi’s (and Amit Shah’s) man and he was brought into CBI only by them against norms. In fact Modi made him acting chief of CBI;but since SC objected to it, another officer was appointed a special director. His petition against the appointment was thrown out by SC.

    You have often stated that RA’s name was in the list of payments made by Sterling Biotech. If he as a COP had to be paid Rs.3.9 crores, SB ought to have received benefits from RA many times that amount. As COP what did he offer SB? He did not work with PC. Why should he protect PC?
    You may recall in a similar incident of raids, Modi’s name was found in a diary of Sahara having received crores as CM of Gujart. Does it mean he is also currupt? Or is RA acting as per the instructions of NaMo?
    In all these cases, I am with the late Cho, who told in 2012 itself that nothing will come out of CBI actions and nobody would be punished!

  6. Today’s evening news is Chidu has been granted ANTICIPATORY BAIL in Aircel- Maxis!!!

    Imagine who was the Judge??!! None other than O.P. Saini.

    Investigation Agency CBI is afflicted with internal rivalries

    Many of the Govt Pleaders are .more than eager to indulge in SELF GOAL in return for a FAT CONSIDERATION

    The DECIDING JUDGE is the same O.P. Saini who sold 2 FAVORABLE VERDICTS in the previous 2G & Maran Aircel cases

    Is it difficult to predict the outcome of this case?

  7. 1.Why is this pending promotion of Rajeshwar Singh cited so often?
    2.Just asking can’t he work without being promoted or is there any rule that only Addl.Director level can do something in a case etc. Seriously don’t know ,god only knows…this babudom complexity..
    3. Why for everything no one is questioning PM Modi & all time either this babu or that , Jaitley ,Shakuni blah blah…
    It looks Asif “Modi & Jaitley ” are like the “dua Suparna sayuja…” Upanishad. Asif One does all things & gets blame while the other simply watches …
    Can’t believe ..it is only 8-9 months away from polls

  8. The story makes no sense.

    Why is Modi government promoting Asthana?

    Why have his staff beengiven extensions by CVC and Modi Givernment?

    Is Modi playing a double game or is P-Gurus simply makeing false accusations?

    Modi government needs to show some convictions.

    It has shown none so far.

    Do not be surprised if Modi gets kicked out.

    Bombast can only go so far.

  9. A small correction -In April 2016, Rakesh Asthana was posted as Additional Director of the CBI(By the Narendra Modi Government)

    Very important to be factual as you claim

  10. The “lateral entry mechanisms” seeking applications from people working in private organizations for positions of under secretaries in various departments, proposed by the central government is probably to put these and their BABUDOM behind. Because these positions need people with 20 to 25 year’s of working experience and 95% of our Babu’s would have become self centered and learnt to handle looting mechanisms in various ways. Let’s hope to see that happening.

  11. A thorough cleansing & fumigation of CBI, ED, Ministries & Judiciary is imperative & essential to identify & kick out corrupt elements.
    At this stage, it seems not plausible. But the most important task of Modi Government after winning LS-2019 should this cleansing & fumigation of the entire BABUDOM

    For four full years, the Italian Mafia had been ‘cocking a snook’ at the Historic Mandate Modi Government specifically for fighting the corrupt & punishing them

  12. Rakesh Asthana is a Rogue. He must have made deal after Chidambaram offered him pea nuts. We have seen he took Rs.3.8 crore from Ahmed Patel linked Sandesaria Group in 2011. Rakesh Asthana seems to be a crooked man. PM should kick him out from CBI.

    • INDIAN EXPRESS TITLE ARTICLE TODAY:
      Rakesh Asthana’s team members in CBI get extension
      The competent authority has approved extension in the tenure of Aramane, a 1995-batch IPS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, from July 17, 2018 till April 2019, a recent order issued by the Personnel Ministry said.
      ———————————————————————————————————–
      It seems the rot has set in all the Institutions without exception.
      CVC, CAG, Judiciary, CBI, ED – All Institutions have been planted with moles – land mines that will destroy honest Officers.

      Modi should, instead of focusing on DEVELOPMENT, strive to clean all the Institutions. Chidambaram effect has percolated in each & every institution.

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