Rakesh Asthana, who was handling the top post of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, has been appointed the Director-General of Border Security Force. He will be succeeded by SS Deswal in the Civil Aviation Security.
The former official of the Central Bureau of Investigations had run into controversy two years ago with his bitter public feud with his then boss Alok Verma and was subject to long investigation in a bribery case in which he was allegedly involved. He got a clean chit from the agency in February this year.
Asthana — a 1984-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer — was elevated to the CBI soon after the NDA came to power in 2014, causing resentment in the ranks. Verma had opposed the appointment of the officer whom Rahul Gandhi has dubbed “the PM’s blue-eyed boy”.
In 2018, the CBI — then headed by Alok Verma — had registered a case against Rakesh Asthana on the basis of a case filed by Hyderabad businessman Satish Sana.
The complainant, who was being probed in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, alleged that Rakesh Asthana took a bribe of ₹ 2.95 crore to help him in the case.
Asthana had responded by filing a complaint against Mr Verma with the Vigilance department and both officials traded allegations, plunging the agency into unprecedented turmoil, till the Centre moved them out.
Asthana, who was the second-in-command in the CBI, was made the Director General of Civil Aviation Security in January 2019.
In August last year, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the officer for temporary charge of the Narcotics Control Bureau.
He is also in the running for the top post of the CBI – where he had worked for six years. The incumbent RK Shukla will be retiring in February next year.