New Delhi: Its seems like the Union government is on a cleaning spree as the heat has reached India's external intelligence agency - Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). One of the agency's top officers, Samant Goel, may face action soon. According to top sources, after AK Bassi, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer who was investigating corruption case against CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, gave evidence against Goel in Supreme court on Tuesday, Goel may be removed from R&AW till the investigation is pending.

This is the first time a top officer of the R&AW is facing serious charges and prima facie named in a bribery case involving CBI top brass, Rakesh Asthana and Alok Verma. Goel, a 1984 batch IPS officer of Punjab cadre, will retire in May 2020. He was the top contender for R&AW chief as well as for DGP of Punjab, but due to this controversy, the government may not consider him for the top posts.

Also read: CBI vs CBI: AK Bassi moves Supreme Court, claims has proof of Rs 3.3 cr bribe

Reportedly, he also met Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Delhi, as he is the senior-most IPS officer in Punjab cadre and was supposed to be next DGP of Punjab.

Bassi has submitted call record details, WhatsApp details, etc., to establish links between Asthana and Manoj Prasad, allegedly involved in a bribery deal. Prasad is the son of R&AW former director chief Dineshwar Prasad. Bassi, after submitting corroborating evidence against both Asthana and Goel, claimed that this was the reason for transferring him to Port Blair.

Also read: CBI vs CBI: Interim protection for Rakesh Asthana to continue till November 1: Delhi High Court

The WhatsApp messages in Bassi's petition include a January 2018 message in which Prasad's brother Somesh Prasad asks him to pressure Sathish Sana "as he can't take panga with them (can't mess with them)...too powerful people."

The CBI filed a case against his number 2- Asthana on October 15 on the basis of a complaint from Sathis Sana, facing probe in a 2017 case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, claiming that the special director had allegedly helped him to get a clean chit from the probe agency. Hyderabad-based businessman Sana alleged that Asthana had demanded a bribe of Rs 5 crore. The complaint had also said that a part of the bribe was paid by Sana. On the other side, Bassi was among the 13 other officers to be transferred as the part of the reshuffle by the acting CBI director M Nageswara Rao after the government sent CBI chief Alok Verma on leave on October 24.