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.
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. 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)!
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.
 CVC meeting minutes expose how CVC selected Asthana over the CBI Director’s objections – Nov 25, 2017, PGurus.com
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