Court sends Kejriwal's ex-PS, 6 others to 3-day CBI custody

Court sends Kejriwal's ex-PS, 6 others to 3-day CBI custody

Court sends Kejriwal's ex-PS, 6 others to 3-day CBI custody

A Delhi court today sent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's former Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar and six others, arrested in an alleged corruption case, to three-day CBI custody after the agency said they were needed to be confronted with each other.

Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar sent Rajendra Kumar, a 1989 batch IAS officer of UT cadre, Deputy Secretary in Kejriwal's office Tarun Sharma, Kumar's close aide Ashok Kumar and owners of a private firm, Sandeep Kumar and Dinesh Kumar Gupta, to the agency's custody after they were produced before it on expiry of their one-day judicial remand.

The court also sent R S Kaushik and his predecessor G K Nanda, present and the former Managing Directors of a PSU respectively, to three-day CBI custody on expiry of a day's judicial custody.

While Kumar, Tarun, Ashok, Sandeep and Dinesh were earlier in CBI custody for five days, the other two accused who were arrested on Saturday, were sent to the agency's custody today.

All the seven accused were yesterday produced before a magisterial court which had sent them to a day's judicial custody while asking them to be produced before the special CBI court today.

During the hearing today, the CBI told the court that it needed their custody as it wanted to confront the accused arrested earlier with those nabbed on Saturday.

The agency submitted that six more addresses were revealed during the interrogation of the five accused from where several more incriminating materials were recovered.

It claimed that during the search, a diary was recovered from which it came to the light that Rs 60 lakh cash was paid by one of the accused to acquire a flat for another accused.

"Fresh discoveries are likely to be made in the case... Huge illegal gratification was given to the accused company (Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd). We have the audio clips which connect of all the accused with each other," the CBI claimed.

It also told the court that some of the accused persons were threatening the witnesses and asking them not to cooperate in the investigation.

Regarding Nanda, the agency alleged that he had entered into a conspiracy with other accused dishonest intentions.   

The CBI further claimed that Kaushik had also helped Kumar in a dishonest manner. Earlier, the CBI had alleged that Kumar was intimidating witnesses.

According to CBI, the five accused arrested earlier were showing undue favours to Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd (ESPL), a private firm which the agency alleged was floated by Kumar, in the award of government contracts worth over Rs 50 crore.

CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others in December last year alleging that the officer had abused his official position by "favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders of Delhi government departments".

Kaushik and Nanda, present and former Managing Directors of Intelligent Communication Systems India Ltd (ICSIL), a Delhi government undertaking which is a joint venture of Telecommunication Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, were arrested as they were allegedly evasive during questioning.

The accused were charged under section 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to criminal misconduct for allegedly favouring ESPL in bagging of five contracts.

CBI has alleged that the accused persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy and caused a loss of Rs 12 crore to the Delhi government in award of contracts between 2007 and 2015, and claimed that the officials had taken "undue benefit" of over Rs three crore while awarding the contracts.

This is the same case in which the agency had come under scathing criticism from court which had directed it to return the documents sought by the Delhi government seized during December 15, 2015 search of Kejriwal's office.

The arrest of the top state government official had triggered a political storm with the Delhi government accusing the Centre of indulging in "political vendetta" and "paralysing" governance.  

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