Bribery case: Alleged middleman moves court for bail

An alleged middleman has moved a Delhi court seeking bail in a bribery case involving suspended top official in the Chhattisgarh government B L Agrawal.

In his plea before special judge Virender Kumar Goyal, the accused, Bhagwan Singh, who is currently in judicial custody, claimed that the probe was already complete and there was no possibility that he would hamper it if the relief was granted.

The court has put up the matter for arguments on May 3 when it will also hear the bail plea of another accused, Syed Burhanuddin, who had claimed to be an official working in the Prime Minister’s Office.

The court had on March 31 denied bail to Agrawal and took cognisance of the charge sheet filed by CBI against all the four accused — Agrawal, his relative Anand Agrawal, Singh and Burhanuddin, who are currently in judicial custody.

“I have gone through the material filed with the charge sheet, I take cognizance of the offence under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) IPC and section 8 (taking gratification, in order, by corrupt or illegal means, to influence public servant) of Prevention of Corruption Act against the accused,” the judge said.

He also directed the CBI to supply charge sheet copy to accused persons by May 8, the next date of hearing.

In it charge sheet, the agency has alleged that Agrawal, a 1988 batch IAS officer who was the Principal Secretary in the Chhattisgarh government, wanted to “settle” an ongoing CBI probe against him.

According to CBI, the officer was facing investigation in two cases registered in 2010 when he was the Health Secretary in the state government. He has been charge sheeted in one case, while the probe is going on in the other.

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

Burhanuddin, who has many aliases, claimed that he would help him settle the case in his favour. Burhanuddin aka OP Singh aka OP Sharma demanded Rs 1.5 crore as illegal gratification for his services, the CBI alleged.

At a meeting between the trio, Agrawal agreed to pay the amount to get relief in the cases against him, it alleged, adding that Agrawal sent Rs 60 lakh in four instalments to Bhagwan Singh using hawala channel, it claimed.

When Agrwal expressed inability to arrange cash for the remaining amount, Burhanuddin and Singh agreed to accept two kg of gold as illegal gratification, it alleged.

The agency registered a case of criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Agrawal, Singh and others.

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