A special court on Saturday issued production warrants against Syndicate Bank CMD S K Jain and one other co-accused in a bribery case after CBI said they were required to be confronted with alleged middleman Purushottam Totlani who surrendered after evading arrest.
Special CBI Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma sought the presence of Jain and co-accused Vineet Godha, who are lodged in jail under judicial custody, before her on September 22. During the hearing, Totlani was produced before the court after expiry of his remand and the court extended his CBI custody by three days till September 23.
The court extended Totlani's custody after CBI said his custodial interrogation was required as the alleged bribe amount in the?case was?sent?to?Godha through Totlani. CBI told the court that during his police custody and after recording statement of one witness, it has transpired that Totlani was in contact with Godha and also knew accused Jain. It also claimed Totlani was not co-operating in the probe. CBI said?it?needs?to?be found out whether any other person was also involved in the case.
It alleged Totlani was involved in the conspiracy and his interrogation was required to ascertain the truth. Totlani had surrendered in the court on September 17 and was sent to police custody. Totlani had earlier filed an anticipatory bail plea in the court which was dismissed on the ground that his custodial interrogation was required to unearth the entire conspiracy and to know about the trail of the alleged bribe.
CBI had earlier argued there was enough evidence to connect Totlani with the case and the intercepted conversation shows his role in the conspiracy. S K Jain, CMD of Prakash Industries Limited Ved Prakash Agarwal, Bhushan Steel Ltd Vice Chairman and Managing Director Neeraj Singal, Vineet Godha and various other accused were arrested by CBI in connection with the case. Singal was arrested by CBI on August 7, hours after the court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him and Totlani.
Except Totlani, the arrested accused are currently in judicial custody. They were apprehended in connection with two separate graft cases in which CBI had booked them under the Prevention of Corruption Act and for the charge of criminal conspiracy under the IPC. On August 2, CBI had arrested some of the accused in connection with the case and claimed to have recovered Rs 21 lakh in cash from Jain's residence besides gold worth Rs 1.68 crore and documents of fixed deposits of up to Rs 63 lakh.
The agency has filed two cases against Jain, accusing him of receiving a bribe of Rs 50 lakh through conduits and abusing his official position to enhance the credit limits of some companies in violation of laid-down procedures.