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Puri's counsel seeks private meeting with client

Counsel of Shivraj Puri -- the alleged mastermind behind the Rs 300 crore Citibank fraud -- has moved a local court seeking permission for a private meeting with his client.

delhi Updated: Jan 02, 2011 19:58 IST

Counsel of Shivraj Puri -- the alleged mastermind behind the Rs 300 crore Citibank fraud -- has moved a local court seeking permission for a private meeting with his client. Sarataj Bafana, the advocate of Puri, said he has been to the police station, where his client is lodged, a couple of times but was not allowed to meet him privately.

The advocate alleged that two or three police personnel were always around during their conversation so he could not prepare defence for his client properly. He, therefore, moved an application in court on Sunday seeking its intervention to meet Puri without police presence.

The court would take up the matter in this regard on Monday.

Puri, working as a relationship manager with Citibank's Gurgaon branch, was arrested and sent on 7 days police remand on December 30, 2010. Meanwhile, a two member SEBI team from Mumbai, which was in Delhi for questioning Puri, has gone back.

The two officials from the investigation department of SEBI did question Puri and may further question the accused in future, Gurgaon DCP (crime) Mithlesh Jain said.

Jain, however, could not give any details of SEBI's investigation into the matter. Officials from SEBI questioned the accused as the fund raised from Corporates and High Networth Individual (HNIs) were diverted into the stock market.

Meanwhile, Gurgaon Police has already questioned senior officials of brokerage firms Religare and Bonanza through which diverted money was invested into the stock market.

Religare Securities said that Puri has been a client since December 2009. As on October 15, 2010, there is balance of Rs 0.30 in his account, Religare said, adding, there has been no trading transaction in his account since October 1, 2010.

Since the investigating agencies are already seized of the matter, Religare is in the process of providing the details as are required by investigating agencies, it said.

According to Police, Rs 200 crore belonged to corporates, including the Hero Group and Rs 100 crore to individuals. Nidhi Uppal, wife of Puri, who has been living separately for sometime, said she has nothing to do with the fraud case.