In a major setback to CBI, a UAE court has rejected India's request to extradite former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda's close aide Sanjay Choudhary, who was arrested in Dubai and allegedly behind dubious investments of the leader.
CBI sources said the court has refused to extradite Choudhary, leaving the agency with no option but to file an appeal with the higher court through Indian embassy there.
United Arab Emirates authorities had arrested Choudhary on November 9, 2011, and CBI, which had issued Red Corner notice against him, has since been trying to bring him here to face trial in connection with the cases related to Koda, they said.
The Red Corner Notice is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant.
CBI is looking for Choudhary for allegedly extracting illegal gratification to the tune of Rs. 13 crore from a Mumbai-based company for showing favour in the matter of allotment of lease for iron-ore mining in Jharkhand's West Singhbhum district.
The agency also wants to interrogate him in connection with the disproportionate assets case against Koda.
Choudhary is considered to be a key confidante of Koda, who is facing allegations of money laundering, tax evasion and disproportionate assets, CBI sources said.
He is also accused of helping the former chief minister in routing his alleged illegal investments to various foreign shores, including Liberia and the UAE, and the Enforcement Directorate has an arrest warrant pending against him, the sources said.
Soon after the raids by Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate on October 31, 2009 at 69 premises, including Koda's, the IT department had issued arrest warrants against Choudhary and three others after they went into hiding following the raids.
Barring Choudhary who escaped, Koda, and his alleged aides Binod Sinha, Vikash Sinha, Manoj Punamia and Arvind Vyas were taken into custody, they said.
The IT department and CBI claim that Choudhary was one of the kingpins in a Rs. 2,500 crore scam, which the agencies claimed was invested in hawala transactions. Choudhary allegedly invested money in business establishments in Dubai.
Koda has been in jail since his arrest in November 2009.