Court grants bail to arms dealer Suresh Nanda, son

April 29th, 2008 - 7:24 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Tuesday granted bail to arms dealer Suresh Nanda, his son Sanjeev and two others arrested for allegedly trying to bribe an income tax official to manipulate Nanda’s tax records. Justice S. Murlidhar granted bail to all four accused in the bribery case on furnishing personal bonds of Rs.100,000 each and sureties of the like amount.

The court also directed the Nandas, their chartered accountant Bipin Shah and income tax official Ashutosh Verma, who have been in custody for the past 53 days, not to leave the country without its permission and to report to the trial court every Monday.

The court has seized their passports.

A city court earlier rejected their bail plea on the ground that they could hamper the ongoing probe in the case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested all four from J.W. Marriott Hotel in Mumbai March 8 where they had allegedly assembled to negotiate the bribe amount Nandas should give to Verma to doctor their tax papers.

Following their arrests, the CBI conducted searches and recovered Rs.5.5 million from the residence of Verma, an Indian Revenue Service official. The agency claimed that the Nandas had given the money to Verma as a bribe for manipulating their income tax records.

The CBI has said that it recorded 95 telephonic calls amongst the accused in this matter.

Suresh Nanda has also been accused of receiving Rs.4 million ($99,943) in kickbacks in purchase of Israeli Barak missiles folowing a deal signed during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

The $100 million deal came under the scanner after it was alleged that then defence minister George Fernandes had overruled at Suresh Nanda’s behest the opinion of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that it could develop a system similar to the Barak.

Sanjeev Nanda is an accused in the mowing down of six people in 1999 while driving his BMW in an inebriated state.

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