'Metro scam': ex-IAS officer Gupta seeks ban on media coverage

Ahmedabad, May 19: Ex-IAS officer and former Executive Chairman of 'Metrolink Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad' Sanjay Gupta, who was arrested in a Rs 113-crore alleged scam, on Tuesday moved the sessions court here seeking a ban on media coverage of his case.

In his application seeking restraint on coverage in the media about the alleged metro scam, Gupta said his image is being tarnished due to the frequent coverage in the media about the scam.


Gupta also moved another application under section 281 of CrPC to give his statement with regard to the case before the court of Additional Sessions Judge N G Dave.

Under CrPC 281, the accused has an option to present himself as a witness. Both the pleas are set for hearing on May 21. When produced today before the court after his four-day remand, Gupta alleged that he was pressurised by probing agency CID to give certain kind of statement before them.

Earlier today, Gupta and his aide and MEGA project's former construction manager Radhesh Bhatt were sent to judicial custody by the court as the prosecution agency did not seek any further custody.

Public Prosecutor Sudhir Bhrambhatt said that the investigating agency has sufficient evidence about the scam and hence they did not seek remand and the court has sent the accused persons in judicial custody.

The court had on May 15 remanded them to four-day custody of CID which ended today. CID had arrested Gupta and Bhatt on May 14 on charges of financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 113 crore when both were with MEGA in 2012.

Gupta quit IAS in 2003 to start his own business. He owns Neesa group which runs hotels. He was appointed Executive Chairman of Metro project in 2011 and resigned in August 2013. 

CID had alleged that Gupta and seven of his subordinate officers were involved in the siphoning off of Rs 113 crore by presenting forged bills and bogus documents related to ground filling work carried out near Bhat village for Metro project in 2012.

According to payment certificates, filling work was done for over more than 20 lakh cubic metres, for which MEGA paid Rs 147.11 crore. However, an audit by Gujarat government's technical unit showed that land filling had been done only in over 9.42 lakh cubic meters. Thus, Rs 113 crore were paid for work which had not been carried out, charges CID.

Gupta also allegedly floated several bogus firms by appointing Neesa Group employees as directors and showed these firms as material suppliers.

He paid Rs 11.12 crore to seven such companies and the money eventually went to his own accounts, CID officials said. CID also alleged that Gupta accepted Rs 60 crore in the form of commission from other suppliers.


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