The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday opposed in a Delhi court the bail plea of an accused in the Rs 10-crore railway bribery case, saying that he may try to influence witnesses whose identities have become public with the filing of the chargesheet.
"We have filed the chargesheet in the case and names of prosecution witnesses are mentioned in it. He (accused) knows their identities and can try to influence them after getting relief," the CBI told the court while opposing the bail plea of Ajay Garg, suspected to be a middleman in the deal.
Senior public prosecutor Akshay Gautam told the court that Garg was one of the main conspirators and was involved in the fixing of the bribe amount to be paid to former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla, a key accused in the case.
Garg's counsel, however, countered the CBI's contentions, saying that the only evidence against his client was the intercepted telephonic conversations between the accused persons, and apart from that, there were no witnesses against him and thus there was no question of him influencing anyone.
He said as the chargesheet had been filed, the CBI's probe into the case was over and Garg should be granted bail.
Special CBI judge Swarana Kanta Sharma, however, said she would go through the intercepted conversations to ascertain Garg's role and then pass an order on July 8.
"Let me read the conversation (transcripts) and then I will pass the order. I will keep it for orders on Monday," the judge said.
During the hearing on the bail plea, the judge was irked after going through a portion of the transcripts of the intercepted conversations, saying that there are a number of "abusive words" mentioned in the documents which the CBI should have "omitted" or "blurred" before giving a copy for her perusal.
"Abuses in the conversations (transcripts) should be blurred or omitted. Why do you (CBI) want to embarrass the court?" the judge said.
The court also told the agency that it would give written directions to it to remove these words from copies of the transcripts supplied to it or the accused after getting 'no objection' from the defence counsel.
These transcripts are part of the chargesheet filed by the CBI before the court on July 2 in which Bansal has been named as a prosecution witness.
Singla, Garg, the then member (staff) of the Railway Board Mahesh Kumar and seven others have been chargesheeted for criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court had on Thursday taken cognisance of the CBI's chargesheet in which the agency has alleged that Singla had demanded Rs 10 crore from Kumar for his appointment to the post of member (electrical) and it was decided between the accused that Rs 5 crore would be paid before the appointment and the rest after the job was done.
The first tranche of Rs 89.68 lakh was given to Singla, who was apprehended in Chandigarh while accepting the money, it has said.