Court sends IAS officer B L Agrawal to judicial custody

Court sends IAS officer B L Agrawal to judicial custody

 Suspended principal secretary in Chhattisgarh government B L Agrawal and one of his associates were today sent to judicial custody by a special court in connection with a bribery case.

Besides Agrawal, special judge Virender Kumar Goyal also remanded the officer's relative Anand Agarwal to 14-day judicial custody after the CBI said their custodial interrogation was not required in the case.

The court, however, extended the police custody of alleged middleman Bhagwan Singh and Syed Burhanuddin, who had claimed to be an official of the Prime Minister's Office, till March 6. The had CBI sought further custody of both the accused, saying they were required for interrogation.

The CBI has alleged that the 1988-batch IAS officer wanted to "settle" an ongoing CBI probe against him.

It had claimed that the officer was facing investigation in two cases registered in 2010, when he was the health secretary in the Chhattisgarh government. He has been chargesheeted in one while the probe was going on in the other.

The agency has alleged that the officer had approached Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Noida, who took him to Burhanuddin to get a graft case "settled".

Burhanuddin, who had many aliases, had claimed he was working in the PMO and would help him settle the case in his favour. Burhanuddin aka O P Singh aka O P Sharma demanded Rs 1.5 crore as illegal gratification for his services, the CBI FIR alleged.

At a meeting among the officer, Singh and Burhanuddin on February 11, the officer had agreed to pay the amount to get relief in the cases against him, it alleged.

The CBI had added that Agrawal sent Rs 60 lakh in four instalments to Bhagwan Singh using hawala channel. As the bureaucrat was unable to arrange cash for the remaining payment, Burhanuddin and Singh agreed to accept two kgs of gold as illegal gratification, the FIR alleged.

The agency has registered a case of criminal conspiracy under the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the accused.

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