NALCO CMD, his wife, 2 others to face 5 days of CBI grilling

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) A Delhi court today allowedCBI to quiz NALCO Chairman-cum-Managing Director Abhay KumarSrivastava, his wife and two others, arrested in an allegedbribery case, in its custody for five days.

CBI arrested four of them and recovered about 10 kgsof gold bricks and jewellery valued at around Rs 2.13 croresas also Rs 30 lakh in cash from their possession yesterday.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini sent Srivastava, his wifeChandani Srivastava, alleged middleman Bhushan Lal Bajaj andhis wife Anita Bajaj to CBI custody till March 3 saying theallegations are "very serious" and being the CMD of NationalAluminum Company (NALCO), he holds a "very high ranking post".

"Accused A K Srivastava is holding a very high rankingpost being the CMD of NALCO. In these circumstances, the caseis required to be thoroughly investigated and for thatsustained interrogation of the accused persons is required.

"Accordingly, I am satisfied that the prayer for policecustody of the accused persons is justified," the judge said.

CBI submitted B L Bajaj has acted as a middlemen forobtaining official favour for Bhatia Group of Companies fromSrivastava and for that he had collected huge illegalgratification from G S Bhatia, CMD of Bhatia Group ofCompanies, on behalf of the NALCO''s CMD.

CBI further said Bajaj was working as a conduit betweencoal suppliers and Srivastava. (more) PTI ABA RKS

CBI has also found Rs five lakh in cash in Chandani Srivastava''s bag she was carrying when she and Anita wereintercepted by the agency sleuths.

Both were arrested when they came out of Bank ofMaharashtra after depositing the gold in their locker.

"Documents pertaining to huge investment in movable andimmovable properties were unearthed and the same are underscrutiny," CBI said in its remand application seeking sevendays custodial interrogation of the accused.

Terming the accused as "habitual corrupt", the probeagency said Chandani impersonated herself as Anita Bajaj byusing PAN card, Voter I-card in her (Anita''s) name with herown photograph for obtaining and operating the locker as wellas the bank account in Bank of Maharashtra, which was in thename of Anita.

The defence counsel for the accused, however, opposedCBI''s plea saying the investigation is already complete andsearches have already been conducted by CBI.

They said their clients are ready to co-operate with CBIin the probe and thus custodial interrogation is not required.

CBI, meanwhile, submitted that they have to unearth theentire conspiracy and also ascertain the files relating to thecontract for which the bribe amount was given to Srivastava.

The court ordered that the accused persons be medicallyexamined every 48 hours and also allowed the family membersand counsel to meet them during their custodial interrogation.

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