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A Delhi court Saturday sent Vivek Dutt, a CBI officer heading the probe into the allocation of coal blocks, to the custody of the probe agency till May 21 for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs.7 lakh from a businessman for settling a land dispute.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge V.K. Gupta sent Dutt, inspector Rajesh Karnatak, alleged middleman Rajesh Pachisia and businessman Dinesh Gupta to the probe agency’s custody for three days.

All the four accused were presented in the court and the CBI sought their seven days police custody but the court only granted three days for their questioning.

Dutt claimed innocence and alleged a conspiracy to keep him out of the probe for the Supreme Court-monitored coal blocks case.

The CBI prosecutor, during the hearing, told the court that Dutt and Karnatak were in the same branch in the agency and Pachisia was in regular contact with them.

A land dispute and cheating case was registered against Gupta at Amar Colony police station in south Delhi, CBI said.

Dutt allegedly tried to put pressure on Delhi Police officials, who were investigating the cheating case, to get the case against Gupta dropped, the CBI said.

The probe agency said Dutt demanded Rs.15 lakh from Gupta for the task.

Pachisia was apprehended Friday when he was handing over Rs.7 lakh to Karnatak, the CBI said.

The entire amount of Rs.15 lakh was recovered from Pachisia, Karnatak and Gupta, the CBI prosecutor said.

Dutt and Karnatak were arrested by the internal vigilance unit of the CBI from Lodhi Colony area in south Delhi.


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