New Delhi: CBI DSP AK Bassi on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging his transfer to Port Blair saying it was vitiated by "malafides" and would prejudice the probe against former special director Rakesh Asthana.
Bassi, who was the investigating officer in the corruption case against Asthana, said he is being "victimised by the present interim CBI Director - M Nageswara Rao, who represents certain elements within the CBI, who did not want the Petitioner herein to conduct a free and fair investigation in the Asthana FIR".
He said it was Rao, who had passed the order dated October 24, 2018 transferring him to Port Blair and it is the same person at whose behest he is being sent to Andaman Nicobar again in utter disregard to the judgment of this Court in the case of former CBI director Alok Verma.
In his plea, Bassi has challenged the transfer order issued on January 11 saying it is violative of the directions issued by the top court in its judgment on the plea of Verma who was reinstated.
Verma, however, was divested from his duties as CBI director by the high powered selection committee and transferred as Director General Fire Service.
"It is passed by an officer/authority not competent to pass such orders. The impugned order intends to victimize the Petitioner herein. The impugned order seeks to unfairly prejudice the investigation against Rakesh Asthana, in FIR...Dated October 15, 2018," Bassi said in the plea.
He said there are apprehensions that the transfer order is the first step to implicate him either in a false criminal cases or in a departmental proceedings for discharging his duties in a fair and impartial manner in the investigation of the FIR pertaining to Asthana.
"The impugned transfer order is non-speaking and fails to disclose reasons for such an emergent sweeping action," the plea said.
Bassi said this is not a routine case of a transfer of an officer. In his application in the Verma case he had submitted that his transfer is pursuant to a deep rooted conspiracy, aimed at influencing the course of the investigation against Asthana and further to penalise him for discharging his duties in a free and impartial manner in the case.
He said that subsequent to the January 8 verdict in the Verma case, he had made a representation to the then CBI Director (Alok Verma) on January 9, which was allowed and then he was transferred back to Delhi and assigned to his duties of DSP, CBI, AC-III, New Delhi.
"Once the said representation was accepted and the Petitioner herein was transferred back to Delhi, it was not open for the impugned order to summarily, without application of mind and without any stated reason, simpliciter revoke the said transfer order dated January 9, 2019 by a generic order terming the earlier order as "non-est"," the plea said.
On January 8, the apex court had asked the CBI officers including Bassi, who were transferred overnight to various places after the Centre's decision to divest the probe agency's Director Alok Kumar Verma of his powers, to approach appropriate forum assailing their transfers.
Bassi said he was never a part of any "group or faction" within the CBI and has no concern whatsoever with the alleged disputes that have erupted within the CBI.
"He was assigned certain tasks, under lawful authority (ie. Investigate the Asthana FIR) and was merely discharging his duties in a free fair and impartial manner," the plea said.
Bassi said that he does not claim or contend or seek any vested right to be a part of any investigation team that is investigating into the FIR related to Asthana or any other case investigated by CBI.
"As a law abiding officer of the CBI, it is his duty to discharge the tasks assigned to him to the best of his capability. Therefore the Petitioner does not pray that he be assigned to the investigation team that is investigating the FIR in the Asthana case," he said in his plea.