Delhi HC extends status quo order on proceedings against Asthana till Nov 14

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Thursday extended its order till Nov 14 asking the CBI to maintain status quo on proceedings against Special Director Rakesh Asthana, allegedly involved in a bribery case.
Both CBI and Asthana opposed in the high court the plea of Additional Superintendent of Police S S Gurm, who has been transferred from Delhi to Jabalpur in the wake of a feud between CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma and Asthana, to be heard in the matter.
The proceedings also witnessed a controversy when two advocates claimed that they were representing the Central Bureau of Investigation in the matter.
Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee came for the first time since the matter came up for hearing in the high court on October 23, and said he has been instructed to appear for the CBI. Advocate K Raghavacharyulu, who has been appearing for the CBI, opposed the appearance of Banerjee, contending that he has been appointed by the agency to represent it from the beginning when the petition was filed by Asthana.
“I have been appointed as the special public prosecutor in the case,” Raghavacharyulu said.
Later, Banerjee said he will seek instructions from the competent authority and make it clear for the high court as to who among the two will appear on behalf of the probe agency.
The high court on October 23 had ordered the CBI to maintain status quo on proceedings against Asthana which was further extended on October 29 till today.
The October 23 order had made it clear that the agency would not take any coercive step against Asthana.
Earlier in the day, the CBI in its reply to Asthana’s plea seeking to quash an FIR against him, said allegations against him and others show cognisable offences. CBI filed the reply in response to the notice issued to it on the petition filed by Asthana against the filing of the case.