The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday arrested one of its former superintendents of police and a middleman for allegedly helping in dilution of charges against a coal merchant in return of some bribe amount after carrying out searches at his office in New Delhi from where over Rs 50 lakh were recovered.
The agency searched the office and residence of retired SP J P Verma, office of alleged middleman Miland Kumar Dey, a member of Jharkhand Bar Council, and offices of Ramesh Gandhi in Kolkata, who is named as accused in at least five cases, CBI sources said.
The CBI claimed to have recovered Rs 50 lakh from Verma's office located in Lajpat Nagar and also alleged that the former officer had received an advance bribe of Rs 2 lakh from Gandhi through Dey for settling cases against Gandhi.
The CBI arrested Verma and Dey, agency sources said.
For the CBI, it has been a long legal battle with Gandhi as the agency had secured an order last November against Calcutta High Court's decision of quashing the FIR against Gandhi, who is also a part-time television producer.
The CBI proved before the apex court that Gandhi had allegedly suppressed facts and misled the high court to quash the FIR.
The first case was registered on March 22, 1994, on the directions of the Central Vigilance Commission, alleging that Gandhi had conspired with senior officials of the Bharat Coking Coal Limited to cause a loss of Rs 1.07 crore to the coal company.
The agency alleged that between February 1989 and December 1993, BCCL officials fraudulently included certain items in the contract for transportation of coal, to benefit Sainik Goods Careers Pvt Ltd (SGCPL), a company hired by Ramesh Gandhi.