Court awards 2-yr jail to IASRI officer in graft case

Court awards 2-yr jail to IASRI officer in graft case
Court awards 2-yr jail to IASRI officer in graft case

An officer of the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI) has been sentenced to two years imprisonment by a special court for taking bribe for issuing a transfer order.

The court took a lenient view towards 55-year-old Krishan Pal Singh Gautam, who was posted as chief administrative officer in IASRI, considering family circumstances that he has to take care of an aged mother, ailing wife and unmarried children who are still in academic pursuits.

Special CBI Judge Kamini Lau held Gautam, a resident of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, guilty of the offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to public servant taking illegal gratification and criminal misconduct by him. The court also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on him.

The court allowed the convict’s plea and suspended his sentence to enable him to file an appeal against this verdict in the superior court.

According to the CBI, a case was lodged against Gautam in November 2013, on a complaint of Mayank Singh Pundir, who was posted as an assistant at Sugarcane Breeding Institute in Coimbatore.

The complainant had alleged that he applied for his transfer in IASRI in Delhi from Coimbatore and met Gautam, who demanded a bribe of Rs one lakh for issuing a transfer order.

A trap was laid by the probe agency and Gautam was caught accepting part payment of Rs 50,000 in his office from Pundir, the CBI alleged.

The convict, who had remained in judicial custody for over two months during the trial, sought leniency saying his family has immensely suffered on account of this case and has been financially ruined.

The prosecutor said the convict does not deserve any lenient view as he had misused his official position.

( Source – PTI )

Graft case: Delhi court grants bail to ex-HC judge Quddusi

Graft case: Delhi court grants bail to ex-HC judge Quddusi
Graft case: Delhi court grants bail to ex-HC judge Quddusi

Former Chhattisgarh High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi has “deep roots in the society” and cannot tamper with evidence, a Delhi court today said while granting him bail in connection with an alleged medical college corruption case.

It, however, directed the 67-year-old former judicial officer to surrender his passport to the CBI within two days and not leave the country without its permission.

“This court is cognisant of the fact that Quddusi has been a judge of High Court for 17 years, though at the same time, no special concession can be showered on him solely due to this fact.

“Nonetheless, it also goes on to demonstrate that he has deep roots in the society and the apprehension of CBI that he would flee away or influence the witnesses or tamper with evidence, remain in the realm of apprehension only which seems unfounded and unsubstantiated,” Special Judge Manoj Jain said.

The court gave the relief to Quddusi on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and a surety of a like amount considering that he had cooperated with CBI probe and was not required to be kept in jail any further.

“Keeping in mind the overall facts and circumstances of the case and without making any comment with respect to merits or demerits of the case, I find it to be a fit case where no useful purpose would be served by permitting Quddusi to remain behind bars at this juncture,” the judge said while allowing his bail plea filed through advocate Vijay Aggarwal.

Opposing the bail plea, CBI senior public prosecutor Vivek Saxena argued that the scam in question was of a very serious magnitude and the former judicial officer’s role was “crucial and pivotal as he used his contacts to help co- accused run the medical college”.

Quddusi, who has also served as a judge in Orissa High Court, was arrested along with Lucknow-based Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences’ chairman B P Yadav, his son Palash Yadav and three others, for allegedly trying to settle a matter relating to the medical college debarred from admitting new students.

Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences is one of the 46 colleges debarred by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The court also granted one week’s interim bail to Bhawana Pandey, the lone woman accused in the case, for treatment of her four-year-old son suffering from autism.

It kept the bail pleas of Yadav and his son pending for decision next month.

The other accused in the case are alleged hawala operator Ram Dev Saraswat and one middleman Viswanath Aggarwala.

While granting bail to Quddusi, the court accepted the argument of his counsel that he had an unblemished track record as a high court judge for 17 years and there was no question of his non-cooperation with the probe agency.

It also noted the submission of the CBI that Quddusi had voluntarily given his voice samples for probe relating to call records, which “suggested he had cooperated with the CBI”.

“The most clinching piece of evidence is already in possession of CBI in the shape of recorded conversation and therefore, it is hard to believe that Quddusi would be in any position to tamper with the evidence,” it said.

The CBI claimed Quddusi might tamper with evidence and influence important witnesses in the case.

According to the CBI, the arrests were made on September 20 after search operations at eight locations, including the residence of Quddusi in Greater Kailash area of South Delhi, as also in Bhubaneswar and Lucknow.

It had said that a case was registered against them for allegedly trying to settle an ongoing matter relating to a medical college barred from admitting new students.

The court had on the last date of hearing sent Quddusi to Tihar Jail here while rejecting CBI’s plea to interrogate him in custody. It had sent all the other accused to judicial custody as well.

The CBI had alleged they were not cooperating in the probe and had to be quizzed regarding similar cases involving 46 medical colleges debarred by the government from admitting students due to sub-standard facilities.

The probe agency has alleged that Quddusi had obtained an instalment of gratification from B P Yadav and it needed to investigate how it was paid.

It has alleged that Rs 1.86 crore were recovered and “a larger nexus needed to be considered as 46 colleges were debarred”.

( Source – PTI )

SC to decide CBI’s appeal against Karti on September 18

SC to decide CBI's appeal against Karti on September 18
SC to decide CBI’s appeal against Karti on September 18

The Supreme Court today fixed on September 18 the appeal of the CBI challenging the Madras High Court order staying government’s look out circular against Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, in a graft case.

The FIR lodged by the CBI on May 15 had alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Karti’s father was the Finance Minister.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, meanwhile, said that its direction staying the Madras High Court order on look out circular will remain in force in the meantime and as a result, Karti will not be able to leave India.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Karti, alleged that all baseless allegations have been levelled against Karti and challenged the probe agency to being out the details of any property which the Chidambarams cannot account for.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, vehemently countered the submission and said that the probe was at a very crucial stage and substantial information have been given to the court in a sealed cover.

The bench then fixed the matter for final disposal next Monday.

On September 1, the CBI had told the apex court that there were “good, cogent” reasons for issuing look out circular against Karti.

On August 18, the court had asked Karti to appear before the investigating officer at the CBI headquarters here for questioning in the case.

The bench had given the probe agency the liberty to question Karti as many times it wanted.

Prior to this, the apex court had said that Karti would not be allowed to leave India without subjecting himself to investigation in the case. The court had then stayed the Madras High Court order putting on hold the LOC issued by the Centre against Karti.

The CBI had claimed that the FDI proposal of the media house, cleared by Chidambaram, was “fallacious”.

The FIR was registered on May 15 before the special CBI judge here and the registration of the case was followed by searches at the residences and offices of Karti and his friends on May 16.

( Source – PTI )

Former military station officials get jail term for graft

Former military station officials get jail term for graft
Former military station officials get jail term for graft

A CBI court in Jodhpur today sentenced four-year rigorous imprisonment to a former assistant garrison engineer and a similar three-year term to another in a bribery case.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 3,000 on Janardan Parab and a fine of Rs 2,000 on Vijay Kumar, both former assistant garrison engineers.

CBI had registered a case in June 2014 against Parab and Kumar, both working in MES, Military Station, Suratgarh of Rajasthan on complaint that they had demanded a bribe of Rs 80,000 from a person to pass his outstanding bills, said a CBI spokesperson.

A trap was laid and Parab was arrested while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 40,000 (Rs 20,000 for himself and rest for Kumar), the spokesperson said.

After completion of investigation, a charge sheet was filed in February 2015 against the duo.

The charges were framed in September 2015 following examination of 12 witnesses, the official added.

( Source – PTI )

Court discharges Abhishek Verma in graft case

Court discharges Abhishek Verma in graft case
Court discharges Abhishek Verma in graft case

Arms dealer Abhishek Verma, his wife and others were discharged by special court today in a CBI case involving alleged payments to some officials to influence the Defence Ministry to keep a German firm out of the government’s blacklist.

Special CBI Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna also discharged Verma and his Romanian wife Anca Verma in a money laundering case filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the matter.

The CBI had filed its charge sheet against Verma, his wife, Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) and its top official Gerhard Hoy.

The court discharged them saying that there was not enough evidence to put them on trial in the two cases.

According to the CBI, RAD had transferred USD 5,30,000 to a New York bank account belonging to Ganton Ltd, a US-based company owned by Verma.

Verma had promised to stall the blacklisting process in exchange for money, according to the police chargesheet.

The agency had told the court that it had traced banking transactions from Europe to the US, linking Verma and his associates with the German arms conglomerate.

ED had filed a separate case of money laundering against the couple on the basis of the CBI complaint.

The German company’s troubles started in 2009 when the CBI registered an FIR accusing it of bribing the then Director General of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to secure a contract for supply air defence guns to the Indian Army.

“On the basis of investigation of this (2009) case, blacklisting of RAD (Rheinmetall) was recommended by CBI. When this matter of blacklisting was under process, Abhishek Verma got in touch with the representatives of RAD and assured them of help by influencing the public servants to stall the process of aforesaid blacklisting of RAD,” the CBI chargesheet said.

( Source – PTI )

Graft case: TV actor Anuj Saxena surrenders in court

Graft case: TV actor Anuj Saxena surrenders in court
Graft case: TV actor Anuj Saxena surrenders in court

TV actor Anuj Saxena today surrendered before a Delhi court in connection with a graft case in which co-accused and senior bureaucrat B K Bansal, his wife and children committed suicide last year.

Saxena, who was asked by the Delhi High Court to surrender by February 17, made himself available before Special Judge Gurdeep Singh.

The high court had on February 13 issued the direction after Saxena’s lawyer decided to withdraw the anticipatory bail plea moved by him, when the court said it was “not inclined to grant the relief” as the accused appeared to be the “ultimate beneficiary”.

CBI has alleged that Saxena had played a direct role in bribing Bansal to ensure that he does not order an SFIO inspection against his company on charges of illegal collection of Rs 175 crore from 24,000 investors, diversion of funds to companies abroad and not filing returns on time.

Bansal, who was out on bail, allegedly hung himself along with his son at their residence on the intervening night of September 26-27, 2016, with a purported suicide note claiming “harassment” by CBI.

Bansal was arrested by CBI on July 16, 2016, for allegedly accepting bribe from the pharmaceutical company.

Three days later, his wife Satyabala (58) and daughter Neha (28) allegedly hung themselves from ceiling fans at their residence in Nilkanth Apartments in East Delhi’s Madhu Vihar.

( Source – PTI )

PWD engineer sent to 4 years in jail in graft case

PWD engineer sent to 4 years in jail in graft case
PWD engineer sent to 4 years in jail in graft case

A PWD engineer, accused of demanding and accepting bribe from a contractor, has been sent to four years in jail by a Special court.

Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry convicted 46-year-old Ved Prakash, who was working as an assistant engineer in Public Works Department (PWD), for the offences of taking illegal gratification and criminal misconduct by a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He is accused of demanding and accepting bribe from a contractor who was awarded the contract of renovating the residential complex of a city government hospital.

Besides the rigorous jail term, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 40,000 on him.

“I am of the view that the evidence on record … shows that accused demanded and complainant gave bribe money to accused, which he accepted voluntarily knowing it to be illegal gratification. The prosecution established through the evidence of complainant… that currency notes were recovered from the possession of accused,” the judge said.

While prosecutor Balbir Singh said that keeping in view nature of offences, a stringent view may be taken against the convict, Prakash sought a lenient view saying he was the sole earning member of his family and had two minor children.

According to the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), a complaint was received in 2014 from a man, working as a government contractor and was awarded the renovation work of toilets of a girls hostel in the residential complex at GTB Hospital in East Delhi.

The accused engineer was responsible for the supervision of the work given to the contractor.

The complainant alleged that Prakash was harassing him and demanding five per cent as commission of the payments received by him. He had demanded part payment of Rs 12 lakh i.e. Rs 60,000 and threatened the complainant that he would allot the work to someone else if the bribe was not paid.

The complainant told the engineer that he had already suffered losses in the contract and would not be able to pay commission but the accused was adamant and did not pay any heed to his request, the complaint had said, adding that the tender, issued in the name of Avtar Builders, was of Rs 43 lakh and it was awarded to him for Rs 27 lakh.

The contractor lodged a complaint with the ACB which laid a trap and caught the engineer while accepting Rs 50,000 as bribe.

During trial, Prakash denied the allegations against him and claimed that he was innocent.

( Source – PTI )

Order on bail for suspended judge’s hubby reserved

Order on bail for suspended judge's hubby reserved
Order on bail for suspended judge’s hubby reserved

A special court today reserved its order on the bail plea of the husband of a judicial officer, arrested in a graft case in which she was allegedly caught by CBI while accepting bribe.

Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal fixed the matter for October 17 to pronounce the order on the bail application of accused Alok Lakhanpal, who sought the relief on the ground of parity with his wife Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal who was a senior civil judge at the Tis Hazari Court here.

Besides Alok, the court also heard arguments on the bail plea of co-accused and an advocate Vishal Mehan. Both Alok, a practicing lawyer, and Vishal are in judicial custody.

The CBI opposed their applications saying they should not be released as they could influence the probe in the case.

The court had earlier granted bail to Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal, who was suspended after her arrest, considering that there was nobody to look after her two minor kids as her husband was also under incarceration.

The judicial officer, her husband and Vishal were arrested by CBI on the night of September 28.

According to CBI, the judge and her husband were arrested while allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs four lakh from Vishal, who was appointed as local commissioner in a case adjudicated by her, at her residence.

CBI had claimed that during searches at the judge’s residence, Rs 94 lakh case was seized by it along with two locker keys and other material.

“A case was registered under Prevention of Corruption Act against the advocate on a complaint alleging that in a matter being heard by a Senior Civil Judge (West), Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, she had appointed him (Vishal) as local commissioner for conducting an inspection of the disputed property and submitting his report.

“The advocate (appointed as LC) allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs two lakh for himself as well as Rs 20 lakh for the said senior civil judge for deciding the matter in favour of the complainant,” it had said.

CBI had said its teams laid a trap at the designated place where the bribe was to be allegedly paid by Vishal.

( Source – PTI )

Suspended judge’s husband moves court for bail in graft case

Suspended judge's husband moves court for bail in graft case
Suspended judge’s husband moves court for bail in graft case

The husband of a judicial officer, arrested in a graft case in which she was allegedly caught by CBI while accepting bribe, has moved a special court seeking bail.

The bail plea of accused Alok Lakhanpal, the husband of Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal who was a senior civil judge at the Tis Hazari Court here, would come up for hearing tomorrow before Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal.

Besides Alok, co-accused and an advocate Vishal Mehan has also approached the court seeking bail in the case. Both Alok, a practicing lawyer, and Vishal are in judicial custody.

The court had earlier granted bail to Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal, who was suspended after her arrest, considering that there was nobody to look after her two minor kids as her husband was also under incarceration.

The judicial officer, her husband and Vishal were arrested by CBI on the night of September 28.

According to CBI, the judge and her husband were arrested while allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs four lakh from Vishal, who was appointed as local commissioner in a case adjudicated by her, at her residence.

CBI had claimed that during searches at the judge’s residence, Rs 94 lakh case was seized by it along with two locker keys and other material.

“A case was registered under Prevention of Corruption Act against the advocate on a complaint alleging that in a matter being heard by a Senior Civil Judge (West), Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, she had appointed him (Vishal) as local commissioner for conducting an inspection of the disputed property and submitting his report.

“The advocate (appointed as LC) allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs two lakh for himself as well as Rs 20 lakh for the said senior civil judge for deciding the matter in favour of the complainant,” it had said.

CBI had said its teams laid a trap at the designated place where the bribe was to be allegedly paid by Vishal.

As the bribe was being allegedly paid, CBI teams swung into action and nabbed Vishal while he was “receiving” Rs five lakh purportedly on behalf of the judge, it had claimed.

The team then took the accused advocate to the judge’s residence where he allegedly handed over Rs five lakh to Lakhanpal while she gave Rs one lakh to the lawyer as his cut, the agency claimed, adding that the alleged bribe money was also recovered by CBI.

( Source – PTI )

Court grants bail to ex-IGNOU VC, others in graft case

Court grants bail to ex-IGNOU VC, others in graft case
Court grants bail to ex-IGNOU VC, others in graft case

Former Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and two others have been granted bail by a special court in a graft case for allegedly permitting two varsities to run distance learning courses in violation of norms.

Special CBI Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna allowed the bail pleas of ex-IGNOU vice-chancellor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, former Punjab Technical University (PTU) VC Rajneesh Arora and then PTU registrar R P S Bedi, saying they were not arrested during the probe and there was nothing to show that they would flee from justice.

The three accused were granted bail on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 75,000 each and a surety of like amount.

“The accused persons were not arrested during the investigation. Nothing has been brought on record whereby there is any possibility of accused persons fleeing from justice or tampering with the evidence. The accused persons have roots in the society and trial would take long time to conclude,” the court said.

It directed the accused to attend the court regularly, not to leave the country without court’s prior permission and not to contact or influence any witness in this case. “Accused persons will not tamper with the evidence/record in any manner directly or indirectly,” the court said.

CBI had lodged a case against Pillai and others in July 2012 alleging that during his tenure as VC of IGNOU and also the Chairman of Distance Education Council, he had allowed Sikkim Manipal University and PTU to run distance learning courses in violation of laid down procedures.

It further alleged that Pillai had abused his official position in granting approval to the two universities based in Jalandhar and Gangtok for running courses in Distance Education Mode, ignoring the deficiencies pointed out by an expert committee in 2009.

After completion of investigation, CBI had filed a charge sheet and a supplementary charge sheet in the court and the accused were chargesheeted for the alleged offences under 120B (criminal conspiracy), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using forged document as genuine) of the IPC and under the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly abusing the official position.

The court fixed the matter for October 21 for scrutiny of documents filed along with the charge sheet.

( Source – PTI )