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Court allows ED to question Desai

delhi Updated: May 23, 2010 13:28 IST
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In a fresh trouble for former president of Medical Council of India (MCI), Ketan Desai, Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been allowed by a Delhi court to question him and two others to ascertain the magnitude of the scam.

"ED is permitted to interrogate Desai, Sukhwinder Singh and J P Singh in the premises of Tihar Jail by the officers of the department," Special CBI judge O P Saini said in his recent order.

The court allowed the plea of Naveen K Matta, special prosecutor of the ED, who said that interrogation of Desai and Sukhwinder, a doctor of Patiala-based private medical college, and J P Singh, alleged tout, was necessary to uncover the source of their illegal wealth.

They have been booked by the ED in a fresh case lodged under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), after it came to light that they laundered money, Matta said.

Sharad Chaudhary and Rajeshwar Singh, both assistant directors of the ED, will be questioning the accused. The court sent a copy of its order to the jail superintendent to facilitate the questioning as per the norms.

Desai was arrested on April 22 by CBI along with three others -- J P Singh, Kulwant and Sukhwinder -- for allegedly accepting Rs 2 crore bribe to give permission to Gyan Sagar Medical College at Patiala to induct a fresh batch of students without having the requisite infrastructure.

Subsequent searches of Desai's premises revealed huge amounts of cash, investments and gold, all worth several crores.

Desai, who is in judicial custody for a case lodged by the CBI, has come under the scanner of the Income Tax department and the ED for his alleged wrong doings.

Besides an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Desai, who was forced to resign from the now disbanded MCI, has been slapped with alleged Income Tax evasion, amassing wealth beyond known sources of income and money laundering.

The court has recently dismissed his bail plea saying the offence was grave and probe into the matter were at initial stages.

CBI booked the three accused for dealing with inducing a public servant to accept bribe, criminal misconduct and payment of money.

Based on the findings and recoveries made by the CBI, the ED has swung into action by lodging a case against them under the PMLA.