Sacked Assam minister in jail for two weeks (Lead)

June 7th, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) Sacked Assam education minister Ripun Borah, caught here this week on charges of bribing an officer investigating a murder case, was Saturday remanded to judicial custody till June 21. Borah, along with co-accused Mukul Pathak and R.K. Maheshwari, was presented before Special Judge S.P. Garg, who sent them to judicial custody.

I.U. Khan, counsel for Borah, had earlier moved bail applications for the sacked minister and other co-accused.

In its reply, the the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) contended that the investigations were in initial stages and the accused could try to influence the probe.

“The accused can tamper with evidences and can influence the witnesses, who are yet to be examined and documents related to the case are yet to be traced, so giving him bail at this stage will hamper the investigation,” the CBI stated in its reply.

The court refused to hear the bail plea Saturday and posted the matter for Monday.

Defence counsel also moved an application in the court asking for a legal interview with the accused, which the court allowed for 10 minutes.

The CBI arrested Borah Tuesday on the charge of offering a bribe of Rs.1.7 million to one of its officials to influence the probe into the murder of Assam student leader Daniel Topno.

The CBI alleged that Borah, in his bid to wriggle out of the probe against him in the 1996 murder of Topno, a Congress leader in northern Assam’s Gohpur town, tried to bribe Deputy Superintendent of Police A.B. Gupta, who was apparently probing whether Borah had any role in the murder.

Borah was dropped from the Assam council of ministers hours after his arrest.

According to the agency, Borah, along with conduit Pathak, had come to Delhi June 2 and invited the official to a hotel at Sunder Nagar in south Delhi. Pathak used to work for an Assamese newspaper.

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