In a petition taken before the Supreme Court, CBI Joint Director MK Sinha has claimed that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval interfered in the investigations against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and even stymied a search to be carried out at Asthana’s residence. Sinha, who supervised the bribery probe against Asthana and was between officers transferred en masse in October, has alleged that the two middlemen involved in the case were close to Doval. He has also stated that the complainant in the case, businessman Sana Sathish Babu, had told him that Union Minister of State for Coal and Mines Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhari had been paid bribes to the tune of several crores of rupees for alleged help in matters related to the CBI. An MP from Gujarat, Chaudhari is known to be near to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The petition has also alleged that surveillance had stumbled upon a conversation involving R&AW officer Samant Goel, where he was heard saying that “the PMO had managed the CBI issue”, and that same night the entire CBI team probing the Asthana case was removed.