The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was granted transit remand for three days to produce Paresh Chimanlal Buddhadev, a chartered accountant and partner in Chitale & Associates, before a Delhi court.
The 49-year-old was arrested on Friday for obtaining classified records and destroying evidence. He was produced in a Mumbai court where judge HS Mahajan noted that the offence is of national significance, considering that confidential documents were leaked out of the Central government office.
According to the CBI, the firm has corporates and banks as clients and had allegedly engaged Khemchand Gandhi, who was arrested on Thursday, to obtain information from several departments involved in making financial policies for the country.
The CBI alleged that after Gandhi’s arrest, they searched the premises of Chitale & Associates on Friday but they did not cooperate. Though they found entries of the files received from Gandhi, these could not be traced.
Investigations revealed that an employee of the firm, Vijay Mehta, had taken the documents to a professional paper shredder and destroyed them on instructions from firm’s partners.
The agency has the CCTV camera footage from the firm, which shows leaving the Mehta with the papers. Scraps of paper have been recovered and have been sent for forensic examination. Meanwhile, the agency has also recovered data saved on a laptop and a computer and also has retrieved several emails.
Following Gandhi’s arrest, the CBI recovered several documents and Rs60 lakh from him. It has also recovered 42 bank receipts of depositing money in the accounts of government officials Ashok Kumar Singh, an undersecretary in the department of disinvestment, and Lalaram Sharma, a section officer in the department of economic affairs.