New Delhi, Nov 01 (IANS): Two advocates -- Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee and K. Raghavacharyulu -- on Thursday opposed the appearance of each other as the CBI's counsel in the Delhi High Court which was hearing a corruption case against the agency's Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
Both the counsels told Justice Najmi Waziri that they were representing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the matter.
Banerjee, who on Thursday appeared in the case for the first time, told the court that he had got instruction from the "competent authority" to represent the CBI in the case.
But Raghavacharyulu opposed the appearance of Banerjee and told the court that he had been appointed as Special Public Prosecutor in the matter by the investigating agency.
Raghavacharyulu has been appearing in the case since the High Court began hearing Asthana's plea on October 23.
However, the court did not comment anything on this issue and extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Asthana till November 14 and ordered to continue the maintaining status quo in the case till the next date of hearing.
The court was hearing Asthana and suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Devender Kumar's pleas seeking quashing of FIRs against them, saying the cases were registered against them in an illegal manner with a mala fide intention.
According to the CBI, Kumar had fabricated the statement of Sana Sathish Babu, a witness in the businessman Moin Qureshi case, showing he recorded the statement on September 26 in Delhi. However, investigation revealed that Sana was not in Delhi on that day. He was in Hyderabad and joined the investigation only on October 1.
The CBI registered an FIR against Asthana, Kumar and two others. The CBI has alleged that bribes were taken at least five times between December 2017 and October 2018.
Asthana, a 1984-batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, is accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore from a businessman who was being probed in the Qureshi case to "wreck" the investigation. The case was being examined by a special investigation team headed by Asthana.
On October 24 CBI chief Alok Verma was divested of his charge and Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao was made the interim Director. Asthana was also divested of all his supervisory responsibilities.
The government took the decision after Verma and Asthana accused each other of taking bribes.