Millennium Post

Court dismisses bail plea of accused

A special CBI court has dismissed the bail plea of one of the accused arrested in a case in which classified government documents were allegedly procured and passed on to others.

Special CBI Judge S C Rajan rejected the bail application of Paresh Chimanlal Budhdev, partner in Mumbai-based Chitale and Associates, considering the gravity of the offence and that the investigation of the case was at an initial stage.

“The present case is at an initial stage of investigation. The plea taken by the counsel for the accused/applicant that the CBI would not be able to file the charge sheet within 60 days, cannot be taken into consideration at this stage.

“So, as per the allegations and gravity of offence, I do not find any merit in this bail application and the same is hereby dismissed,” the judge said.

Budhdev had sought bail saying he was in custody for nearly two months and that he has not been named as accused in the FIR. He said his partner was interrogated by the CBI but not arrested.

He had also claimed that the CBI would fail to file the charge sheet within 60 days and so he may be released on bail.

The CBI, however, had opposed his bail plea saying accused Ashok Kumar Singh used to give information to co-accused Khem Chand Gandhi who would further pass it on to the partner of Mumbai-based Chitale & Company and the matter is still under investigation.

Budhdev, Chartered Accountant Khemchand Gandhi, three government servants — Ashok Kumar Singh, Lala Ram Sharma and Daljeet Singh — and Ram Niwas are currently in judicial custody.

CBI had earlier told the court that a large number of “incriminating” documents have been seized during the probe and the accused were allegedly procuring and passing on classified documents to others.Ashok Kumar Singh was working as under secretary in the Department of Disinvestment in the Finance Ministry, while Lala Ram Sharma as a section officer in the Department of Economic Affairs and Daljeet Singh as upper division clerk in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

CBI had said a racket was being operated out of Delhi with deals being fixed mostly in the country’s financial capital Mumbai and Bengaluru.

The agency had conducted raids and arrested the accused after it lodged a case of criminal conspiracy and theft under the IPC and misuse of official position under the Prevention of Corruption Act against them.

CBI sources had said a ‘trove’ of confidential documents and Rs 60 lakh in cash were recovered from Gandhi’s residence.

A large number of electronic documents were found on the laptop, tablets and hard disks recovered from the residence of the officials and the chartered accountant, it had said.

It was alleged that the government servants were passing on documents relating to foreign investment policies in the ministries to Gandhi, who in turn passed them on to big corporates for a price. 
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