New Delhi: Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who was sent on forced leave by the government in October last year along with the then CBI director Alok Verma, has been given the additional charge of the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the “entrustment of the additional charge of the post of Director General Narcotics Control Bureau” to the 1984-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer for a period of six months or till a new incumbent is appointed, or until further notice.

Rakesh Asthana is currently serving as Director-General of Civil Aviation Security.

On January 11, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a plea, filed by Asthana, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Devender Kumar and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad, seeking quashing of FIR filed against them.

“No doubt, registration of an FIR against a public servant will be a cause of great concern and stress for the public servant. Charges under the FIR are a matter of investigation. It is important that law presumes a person is innocent until proven guilty,” the Delhi HC had said.

The FIR against Asthana was filed after Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who claimed he had paid bribes to get relief in a case related to meat-exporter Moin Qureshi and made allegations of corruption and extortion against Asthana.

The post of NCB chief was lying vacant since July 4 after incumbent Abhay was appointed as Director of Hyderabad-based Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy.

Asthana, who was second in command in the CBI, was transferred as DG CAS after a bitter tug of war with the then chief of the investigation agency Alok Verma.