Suresh, Sanjeev Nanda sent to Tihar for 14 days

March 14th, 2008 - 8:29 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Arms dealer Suresh Nanda and his son Sanjeev, arrested for allegedly trying to bribe an Income Tax official, were Friday remanded to 14 days’ judicial custody in Tihar jail by a trial court. The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) special court Judge I.K. Kochhar also sent Income Tax Deputy Director Ashutosh Verma and the Nandas’ chartered accountant Bipin Shah to judicial custody till March 28.

Sanjeev Nanda, who has also been accused of mowing down six people in the capital in 1999 with his BMW car, would be lodged in Tihar for the second time, where he was lodged for a couple of years in the hit-and-run case.

Earlier, the CBI called for further extension of custody of all the four accused by seven days.

The agency contended before the court that Suresh Nanda and Verma refused to give their voice samples. “Their conduct clearly discloses their guilty mind, ” the CBI’s counsel V.P. Singh told the court.

The investigators require the voice samples to match these with the recorded telephonic conversation between Verma and Shah that led to the arrest of the four from the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Mumbai March 9. The agency also sought their custody to facilitate the transcription of the taped conversation.

“More time is required for their sustained interrogation as we are yet to trace the money exchanged, the source of the money, unaccounted property of Verma and the diamond studded gold bangles given to him as bribe,” the CBI counsel said.

The court had earlier sent the four accused to three-day CBI custody.

The CBI has also sent the laptops seized during the searches at the premises of the accused to the forensic experts.

Suresh Nanda’s lawyer Siddharth Luthra opposed the CBI’s plea, arguing that his client had already disclosed everything. “Now they are taking me in for third degree (torture),” Luthra said on behalf of his client.

The CBI special judge after hearing the arguments sent all the accused to judicial custody and asked the CBI to file a reply on the bail applications of the four by March 19.

Meanwhile, the investigators also interrogated Shakti Verma, on whose name room number 161 in the Mumbai hotel was booked. Shakti Verma and Shah were directors in Norwegian company Aker Kvaerner, in which Suresh Nanda’s company Dynatron also had a substantial holding earlier.

Shakti Verma told the court that he had booked the room on Shah’s instructions. The CBI had also recovered many visiting cards in the name of Shakti Verma from Ashutosh Verma.

Suresh Nanda, Sanjeev Nanda, Bipin Shah and Ashutosh Verma had allegedly assembled at the hotel room to “further negotiate” the bribe amount. CBI sources had earlier told the IANS that Ashutosh Verma, an Indian Revenue Service officer of the 1999 batch, had struck the deal for Rs.100 million.

The CBI investigations so far have revealed that Ashutosh Verma had met Shah on a number of occasions in “furtherance to the criminal conspiracy”.

“Ashutosh Verma had met Shah at the Ashoka Hotel, Hotel Park Intercontinental and in an apartment in Golf Links in the capital,” the CBI told the court.

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