New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday opposed Special Director Rakesh Asthana's plea seeking to quash an FIR against him in a bribery case in the Delhi high court saying it is in possession of several incriminating documents against him that show cognizable offences. 

CBI officials said that the probe was at a nascent stage and it was handicapped as certain files were being scrutinised by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

The high court had earlier pulled up the CBI on Monday for not filing a reply to the petition. Asthana had moved court seeking quashing of an FIR lodged against him and three others on October 15 under various sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.

The petitions of Asthana, CBI DSP Devendra Kumar, and middleman Manoj Prasad were scheduled for hearing before a bench of Justice Najmi Waziri today.

Asthana is accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 3 crore to avoid action by the CBI in an investigation against meat exporter Moin Qureshi. An accused in this case, Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Sathish Babu, had said that Asthana, among others, accepted the bribe, according to an FIR registered on October 15.

Asthana has alleged that this FIR showed “how the highest officer of the premier investigating agency of the country” was trying to falsely implicate him, the second most senior officer of the agency, to hide his “own criminal misconduct of influencing investigations in exchange for money”.

The CBI’s statement in the High Court comes a day after the agency told a local court in Delhi that it cannot find Babu. The CBI’s new investigating officer in the bribery case Satish Dagar Wednesday said: “The complainant (Sana) was not available and he did not turn up against the summons issued… We could not get anything other than what is already there (against Kumar).”

The high court had on October 29 ordered the CBI to maintain status quo till November 1 on proceedings against Asthana, who was sent on leave by the government along with CBI chief Alok Verma.