Published On: Thu, Dec 10th, 2015

Graft case: criminal misconduct section slapped against IAS

New Delhi: CBI today told a Delhi court that it has invoked the provision of criminal misconduct against senior IAS officer Sanjay Pratap Singh and his personal assistant, arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2.2 lakh, as huge gold has been recovered from the bureaucrat’s bank locker.

Senior IAS officer Sanjay Pratap Singh and his personal assistant, arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2.2 lakh,

Senior IAS officer Sanjay Pratap Singh and his personal assistant, arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2.2 lakh.
Sanjay Pratap Singh (Center)

The agency told this to Special CBI Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna who extended the police custody of Singh, a 1984-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, and his personal assistant Ramesh by seven days.

Both the accused were produced in the court after expiry of their one-day CBI custody during which the agency claimed to have recovered gold worth over Rs 80 lakh from one of the bank lockers of Singh besides fixed deposit receipts of crores of rupees.

The prosecutor told the court that several gold bars have been recovered from the bank locker and various property papers were also seized from Singh’s house.

Seeking 13-day police custody of both the accused, he said that custodial interrogation of the accused was required to know the source of money and gold recovered and as they are yet to examine four other bank lockers of Singh.

“They are part of proceeds of crime committed by the accused,” the prosecutor said, adding that till now the probe has shown that there are six properties in the name of Singh and his family members.

“We have now imposed provision of criminal misconduct under Prevention of Corruption Act on the accused. We need to do more recoveries and the documents recovered are voluminous. Accused are required to be interrogated,” he argued.

During the hearing, Singh’s counsel opposed CBI’s plea for extension of police custody saying investigation has been completed and the agency has already recovered whatever they wanted to and custodial interrogation of the accused was not required.

Ramesh’s counsel also opposed the plea saying no role was assigned to his cilent and nothing has been recovered from his house.
(Reopen LGD18)

During the hearing, the court asked the counsel of Singh, who was holding the post of Principal Secretary in Department of SC, ST and Minorities, if he had disclosed his assets in his office.

To this, Singh and his counsel claimed that an IAS officer was not required to disclose his assets and Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules were not applicable to the bureaucrat.

This claim, however, did not go down well with the judge who said that why he would not disclose the assets when even high court judges have to reveal their wealth.

“If the rule of disclosing assets does not apply to you (IAS), it means that you can acquire as many assets as you want,” the judge said.

The judge, after hearing the arguments, said “I have examined the case diary and documents annexed with the application for extension of police custody. On the face of the application and recoveries made and considering that fresh facts have come before the court and the material collected, a thorough investigation is required in the case”.

“Accordingly, further CBI custody is extended by seven days of both the accused,” the judge said.

Both the accused were arrested on December 8, produced in the court yesterday and remanded to one-day CBI custody.

The investigating officer had earlier told the court that the accused had demanded a bribe of Rs 2.2 lakh from the complainant and Singh had instructed that the money be delivered to his PA. CBI has alleged that out of Rs 2.2 lakh, Singh’s PA pocketed Rs 20,000.

According to CBI, Singh had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 2.2 lakh from the owner of a firm that supplies security guards and other manpower for clearing pending bills.

The accused were arrested after the complainant approached Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office.

PTI

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