The Central Bureau of Investigation has issued a second notice to Delhi lawyer Ankur Chawla to appear before it on November 28 and join investigations into the bribery charges against Company Law Board acting chairman R. Vasudevan.
Chawla informed the CBI on Thursday morning that he would be out of Delhi for a few days due to professional reasons and would not be able to appear before it.
Chawla is one of the three accused named in the CBI's first information report registered on Monday night - hours before the agency nabbed Vasudevan while allegedly accepting Rs 7 lakh from a company secretary, Manoj Kumar Banthia.
On October 29, the CBI found, Chawla appeared before Vasudevan on behalf of a feuding faction in Amar Ujala Publications Ltd that owns a daily newspaper.
“The file recovered from his (Chawla’s) Defence Colony house in Delhi and the CLB office provided vital details on his alleged involvement,” said a CBI source, who did not wish to be identified.
The CBI arrested Vasudevan and Banthia on the basis of video-recordings of Banthia's visit to Vasudevan's house and the subsequent proceedings. The agency, said the source, had also been recording telephone conversations of the three accused for over three months.
Chawla earlier said he would cooperate with the investigators if they wanted his assistance “because I have nothing to hide”.
Hindustan Times tried to contact Chawla on his mobile phone, but it was switched off.
The CBI, meanwhile, questioned some more CLB officials. “So far, it has turned out that Banthia — who hails from Kolkata — had been engaged by Chawla for the first time. Banthia was selected for the job as he had an association with Vasudevan for the past five years,” the source added.