Graft case: CBI custody of NALCO chief’s aide extended

March 5th, 2011 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) A Delhi court Saturday allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to quiz Ratan Pal Singh, a middleman arrested in a corruption case involving suspended National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) CMD A.K. Srivastava, for five more days.

Ratan was presented before CBI special judge O.P. Saini at the end of his five days’ remand. He was arrested Feb 28.

“The nature of allegation against the accused is quite serious that he used to deliver bribe amount on behalf of Bhatia Group of Industries to Srivastava or his representative. Therefore, he is remanded to further (CBI) custody till March 10,” said Saini.

The court said that the amount of bribe involved was quite high and the case involved a senior government official.

“I am satisfied that further (CBI) remand of the accused is required for his interrogation as well as confrontation with other accused, witnesses and documents,” the judge said.

The court allowed his family member to meet him everyday for 30 minutes.

Srivastava and his accomplice B.L. Bajaj were arrested Feb 25. The CBI recovered gold bricks weighing about 10 kg and jewellery valued around Rs.2.13 crore from the NALCO official and Rs.30 lakh from Bajaj. The duo are already in CBI custody till March 8.

“Ratan is required to be confronted with these two persons (Srivastava and Bajaj) as well as with call details,” the CBI said in its remand application.

Anita Bajaj, wife of Bajaj and co-accused in the case along with the NALCO chief’s wife Chandani Srivastava, moved a bail application before the court. It will be heard March 7.

Anita and Chandani were arrested by the CBI Feb 25. They are in judicial custody till March 15.

The CBI said that CMD of Bhatia group of industries G.S. Bhatia paid Rs.20 lakh to co-accused Bajaj, for delivery to Srivastava.

“There is incriminating evidence in the transcript of recorded conversation between Bhatia and Bajaj for balance payment of Rs.40 lakh,” said the CBI in its application.

The probe agency said that Bhatia and his company’s director (marketing) Jaswinder Singh have not joined the investigation till date. They were expected to join the investigation soon, the CBI said.

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