New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Tuesday remanded all five accused, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, to five-day police custody in a corruption case to the tune of Rs. 50 crore.
The CBI earlier today sought 10-day police custody of Rajendra Kumar and four others in connection with this case. Producing Kumar and other co-accused before the Patiala House Court here, the CBI informed that the Principal Secretary was not cooperating during the interrogation.
The investigating agency further said their custody was needed to investigate the money trail. The court, however, questioned the CBI if the case was registered in December 2015 then what was the need to arrest Kumar now. The CBI in its reply said Kumar is a highly placed bureaucrat and a fair investigation cannot be done if he intimidates witnesses in the case.
The CBI claimed that Kumar intimidated witnesses. “He holds such a high position that he can influence witnesses and witnesses that is why his custody is needed,” the CBI told the court.
Justifying the demand to seek 10-day police custody of Kumar and four others, the CBI further said they also need to confront with other accused the relevant documents in this regard.
The counsel for the accused opposed the CBI’s remand application, saying they have already given all that was needed to the investigating agency and asked as to why the arrests were made now when the said case was registered in December.
The supporters of the accused started clapping when lawyer Ramesh Gupta said the CBI is a political motivated agency.
Rajendra Kumar’s lawyer said that there was not a single paper on record which established relation with the other private person, adding that the CBI could not prove wrongful gains even in seven months of investigation.
The prosecutor while seeking custody said that there were some evidences still surfacing which may lead to cheating and forgery.
Meanwhile, one of the accused Dinesh Gupta said that the CBI pressurized him to become an approver in the case.
The CBI lawyer accused the Delhi Government of creating hype in the media post the Principal Secretary’s arrest. Kumar and others were arrested by the CBI yesterday evening.
According to CBI sources, Kumar has been charged with abusing his official position to award contracts to M/s Endeavour Systems Pvt. Ltd. and securing government tenders worth Rs. 9.5 crore between 2007 and 2014 for the company.
Kumar has been booked under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CBI sources said Kumar emerged as the kingpin of the 50 crore scam, which first started activity in 2006.
The CBI had in December last raided Kumar’s office at the Delhi Secretariat in this connection. Kumar had moved an appeal before a special court in March this year seeking the release of his laptop, iPad and cash seized by the CBI.
A trial court had in April also ordered the de-freezing of two bank accounts of M/s Endeavour Systems Pvt. Ltd. The Delhi High Court had then stayed the trial court’s order allowing for de-freezing of accounts of M/s Endeavour Systems Pvt. Ltd.