CBI questioned for not arresting 'receivers of bribe amount'

"Why (CBI) are you not arresting the receivers of the bribe amount"? Special CBI Judge O P Saini said.

The court's remarks came after CBI had apprised it that huge bribe has been paid to the OC officials by overlays suppliers in award of contracts.

The court was holding the proceedings relating to CBI's plea seeking custody of K Udai Kumar Reddy, Additional Director General of OC and Praveen Bakshi, Director of ESJAV:D Art:Indo Consortium, who were arrested yesterday in connection with alleged irregularities in overlays supply.

The court remanded the duo to CBI's custody for 5 days after the probe agency submitted that they are "required for confrontation with other conspirators to find out the money trail."

Special Public Prosecutor Akhilesh, appearing for CBI, submitted Bakshi had paid huge bribe to the officials of the OC in return for getting contracts at exorbitant rates and release of payments. He said Reddy had accepted the bribe amount from Baskhi.

CBI, in its remand application, said the probe in this case is at an initial stage and in order to "unearth the nexus between OC officials and private firms" they need sustained custodial interrogation of the duo.

The CBI custody remand was opposed by advocate Satya Narayan Vashisth, appearing for Reddy, and advocate Amit Khemka, appearing for Bakshi, on the ground that there are no incriminating material against them and they have been co-operating with the investigating agency.

The counsel for both the accused alleged CBI did not allow them to meet their clients after they were arrested.

They claimed the probe agency is not giving any basis on which they are seeking the custody and they have not even said how much amount have been paid and to whom.
They said CBI might "extort their confession" if both the accused are remanded to its (CBI's) custody.

The court, however, rejected the contentions of the defence counsel and said the allegations are "quite serious".

"It has come on the case file that bribe was paid by ESJAV:D Art:Indo Consortium and it was routed through Bakshi and the same was shared by Reddy also.

"It cannot be said that there is no incriminating material on record against the accused persons. The allegations on the face of it are quite serious and the same are required to be investigated thoroughly," the judge said while remanding the duo to CBI's custody till February 28.

Regarding the allegation by the accused persons that they have been tortured by CBI, the court said "the same is not of much substance as the officials of CBI are expected to carry out the investigation as per law."

The court also directed CBI to get both the accused medically examined after every 48 hours and their counsels and family members were allowed to meet them for half an hour daily.

The premises of both the accused were searched by the agency on February 18 along with that of five other CWG organising committee officials and suppliers in connection with overlays scam.

The teams of investigators searched for documents related to overlays supply for the Games and documents related to the conduct of the mega sporting event, sources said.
CBI had earlier arrested Deorukhkar Shekhar, a close aide of former OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi in connection with the same case. He was remanded in 14-day judicial custody on February 19.

Nearly Rs 600 crore worth of contracts relating to the overlays project are under the scanner for alleged irregularities.

Overlays works included supply of tents, marquees, prefabricated units, portable toilets, containers, security fences, furniture, public display LED boards, floor finishes, material handling equipment, gensets, cabling, UPS, air-conditioners, lighting, civil construction, athletic exercise equipment and grandstands.

The agency had conducted a number of searches in certain premises across the country in early January in connection with the scam, including those of an officer under Union Sports Ministry.

The overlays contracts are also under the scanner of the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate.

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