Court denies CBI custody of Customs officer in bribery case

The special CBI court today rejected the central investigation agency's request for custody of a top customs official, arrested for taking a bribe of Rs 19 lakh.

The court remanded Manoj Krishna, the accused, to 14-day judicial custody saying there was no need for custodial interrogation. Co-accused Jigar Desai too was remanded in judicial custody.

Customs Commissioner Krishna, a 1987 batch IRS officer, was arrested yesterday alongwith Desai, a customs agent, for seeking and accepting bribe from a company which wanted its container released from the port.

CBI had said it wanted Krishna's custody to find out how the confidential documents of the Customs fell into Desai's hands, and role of other officials in this regard.
CBI had also said it wanted to probe the involvement of officials of Customs (Marine and Preventive Dept) who had dealt with complainant's file.

According to CBI, Krishna's wife Beena Kumari has two flats and a shop at neighbouring Kharghar and a flat in Patna. Another house is being constructed in Bihar. The agency said it wanted to find the source of funds for these acquisitions.

Rajkot-based M/s Julelal Entrepries had imported imitation jewellry and optical frames worth Rs 80 lakh from China at JNPT in September 2012. Ashok Samiyani, the complainant, had appointed Desai as his agent to get the container released through the Customs.

Krishna and Desai have filed bail applications and the hearing is likely on Monday.

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