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Railway-gate: Bansal's nephew, 3 others sent to CBI custody

May 04, 2013 19:25 IST

Vijay Singla, nephew of Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, was on Saturday remanded in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation for four days by a Delhi court in connection with a bribery case.

Besides Singla, three others Sandip Goyal, Dharmendra Kumar and Vivek Kumar were also remanded by Special CBI Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma till May 8 for custodial interrogation by the agency.

"Considering the nature of the crime, custodial interrogation is essential to not only find out the source of the bribe amount but also the actual beneficiaries and conspirators other than those named in the FIR.

"I, therefore, grant police custody remand for four days," the judge said.

All the four accused were arrested by CBI which had on Friday registered a case against Mahesh Kumar, a Member (staff) of Railway Board, and seven other persons for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and for criminal conspiracy under the IPC for bribery to get a lucrative post.

During the arguments, CBI told the court that Mahesh Kumar is the main accused in the case and he has been arrested in Mumbai.

It said Narain Rao Manjunath, Managing Director of GG Tronics India Private Ltd, was in regular touch with Mahesh Kumar who was trying to get himself appointed to a more lucrative post of in Railway Board as Member (Electrical).

Regarding the conspiracy, the agency said the deal was struck at Rs 10 crore to get Mahesh Kumar appointed as Member (Electrical) and a part payment of Rs 90 lakh, which was allegedly managed by accused Vivek Kumar, was made out.

The CBI said the first tranche of Rs 90 lakh was given to Singla who was apprehended while accepting the money.

Seeking their custody, CBI said the case involved a big conspiracy and many other persons are also involved in it and as the case is at an initial stage, they want to interrogate them to unearth the entire conspiracy.

CBI said it has only recovered Rs 90 lakh and sustained custodial interrogation of all the accused is necessary to ascertain where the other money has gone.

"We want to probe it as to who was to be benefited. Police custody is needed in order to ascertain the identity of other people involved in it," the agency said.

Regarding Manjunath, CBI told the court that he was the "main financier" and has been arrested in Bangalore.

During the hearing, CBI told the court that they need to arrest Samir Singhani and one Rahul to unearth the entire conspiracy and for that custodial interrogation of the accused was necessary.

The defence counsel, appearing for the four accused, opposed CBI's plea for custody saying their clients have already told the agency what they knew and there was nothing more which they could tell to the investigators.

The counsel, appearing for Singhla, told the court that Rs 90 lakh, which CBI is claiming to have recovered from him, was given to him for some land deal and had nothing to do with the appointment of Mahesh Kumar.

During the hearing, some lawyers interrupted the proceedings alleging that Railway Minister Pawan Bansal should be taken into custody by CBI.

The defence counsel, however, told the court thay they have no locus standi and they should not take any name or make any allegations against anyone as CBI is investigating the case and will tell the court about their probe.

The judge also refused to hear the demands of the lawyers saying they do not have any locus standi to argue in this matter.

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