The CBI has filed a charge sheet against former member-cum-acting chairman of the Company Law Board, R. Vasudevan, and five others, for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of R7 lakh last November to deliver an order favourable to one of the two feuding factions of a media house.
An anti-corruption unit of the CBI had on November 23 last year arrested Vasudevan ‘red handed’ accepting the bribe from Banthia, a company secretary with Amar Ujala, at his residence in HUDCO colony, Safdarjung Extension. “The total deal was of R10 lakh, out of which R7 lakh was meant for Vasudevan while Banthia pocketed R3 lakh that was later recovered from his room at a hotel in Delhi,” said a CBI official.
CBI’s charge sheet submitted in a designated court on Monday also name five other accused: Banthia, lawyer Ankur Chawla, Chawla’s alleged aide Vikas Shukla, the media house’s MD Atul Maheshwari and chartered accountant Harshvardhan Lodha. The six were charged under sections related to criminal conspiracy and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, (sections 13(2) read with 13(1)(d). CBI’s FIR had mentioned three persons including Vasudevan, Banthia and Chawla.
Chawla, Lodha and Shukla had allegedly played a role in concluding the deal with Vasudevan through Banthia.
“Chawla had helped Lodha meet Banthia, a friend of Vasudevan, and had also played a role in arranging for the R10 lakh to be delivered to Vasudevan for passing the order in favour of one faction of the media house’s management. Lodha was representing Maheshwari’s faction,” he added.
Apart from the recovery of the bribe sum of R10 lakh as bribe, the CBI had also seized R48 lakh from Vasudevan’s residence.