New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday said that CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana cannot be arrested till November 1 in the corruption charges levelled against him.

While hearing pleas of Asthana and DSP Devender Kumar, CBI counsel said that they want more time to file a counter reply, for a fair trial.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, the CBI, under Alok Verma, was planning to arrest Asthana when the Delhi High Court on Tuesday restrained it from taking any coercive action against him.

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Verma was stripped of his responsibilities hours after the court’s order along with Asthana over the corruption charges.

A government official said that along with Asthana, two other prominent officials, joint director A Sai Manohar and superintendent of police Jagroop Gusinha, working under him in the Special Investigation Team looking into the case against controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi were to be arrested.

The official said the three realised they can get arrested after deputy superintendent of police Devendra Kumar was arrested.

CBI top two officials Asthana and Verma have been embroiled in an unprecedented feud, each accusing the other of corruption and of having accepted bribes.

Mukul Rohatgi, who is counsel for Asthana, brought the petition to the Supreme Court's attention on Friday and challenged the Department of Personnel and Training's (DoPT) decision to remove him from his post and send him on leave. In his plea, Verma had dubbed the move "patently illegal".

The petition was brought before the bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph.

Also read: CBI vs CBI: What Alok Verma said in his petition before Supreme Court

In his plea, Asthana said he was a "whistleblower"  and he had approached the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on August 24 highlighting the corruption charges against CBI chief Alok Verma. 

He also accused the Centre of backing the "corrupt" CBI chief, alleging that he had been victimised for his bonafide actions.