CBI vs CBI: Asthana gets protection against arrest till Nov 1 by Delhi HC

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Oct 29: The Delhi high court on Monday ordered the CBI to maintain status quo on proceedings against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who was sent on leave by the government till November 1. A bench of Justice Najmi Waziri questioned the CBI for not filing a reply to pleas of Asthana and another official seeking quashing of FIR in the matter.The high court also directed CBI to file a reply on the two pleas on or before November 1.The Story Earlier:The Supreme Court was likely to hear a plea today filed by Special Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation Rakesh Asthana, in which he has sought the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma from the post and also challenged the Centre's decision to divest him of duties and send him on leave.This is perhaps for the first time in the history of Independent India when India's premier investigating agency's two senior-most officers are in the court of law seeking justice.And this is again for the first time that the infight and hurling of accusations on each other have come out in open.Asthana and Verma, the two most senior functionaries of the CBI, have been embroiled in an unprecedented feud, each accusing the other of corruption and of having accepted bribes.Mukul Rohatgi, former attorney general and Counsel for the CBI special director,  brought the petition to the Supreme Court's attention on Friday, while the bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph was hearing Verma's petition, who also challenged the Department of Personnel and Training's decision to remove him from his post and send him on leave.Asthana, in his plea, referred to the sequence of events in his feud with Verma in the CBI and claimed he was a "whistleblower" as he had approached the Central Vigilance Commission on August 24 with a corruption complaint against the CBI director.The special director also accused the Centre of backing the "corrupt" CBI chief, alleging that he had been victimised for his bonafide actions.