Ajay Garg, a close aide of railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla and an alleged middleman in the Rs. 10-crore bribery case, was arrested on Tuesday after he surrendered in a Delhi court. He has been remanded in CBI custody till May 9.
CBI sources said the Rs. 2-crore alleged bribe amount agreed upon between Singla and railway board member Mahesh Kumar was for an interim arrangement allowing Kumar to keep additional charge of Western Railway till his new posting as member (electrical).
They said middleman Sandeep Goyal had allegedly promised Kumar to arrange the plum post of member (electrical) in return for Rs. 10 crore, which "needed time till the retirement of present members". Goyal was in touch with Singla and Garg to secure Kumar's posting.
Special CBI judge Swarna Kanta Sharma allowed the custodial interrogation of Garg, who surrendered in court after "coming to know through media reports that the CBI is searching for him" in the alleged bribery case. A Panchkula resident, Garg said in his application that "through media reports I came to know that I have been named as an accused in the alleged bribery case. I am voluntarily surrendering myself in the court to cooperate with the CBI in the ongoing investigation". After the proceedings were over, the judge allowed the CBI to briefly interrogate Garg in the courtroom itself.
The court also remanded Singla, Narain Rao Manjunath, managing director of GG Tronics India Pvt Ltd, and Sandeep Goyal, a businessman and official railway contractor, in CBI custody till May 9.
The CBI submitted that their further custodial interrogation was required to know the source of Rs. 2 crore which was to be paid to Singla by Kumar, who has since been suspended as railway board member.
Accused Vivek Kumar, Dharmendra Kumar, Samir Sandhir and Rahul Yadav were sent in 14-day judicial custody after the CBI said their further custodial interrogation was not required.
The CBI had sought five-day custody of Singla, Manjunath and Goyal, with its prosecutor Akshay Gautam telling the court that the replies given by them during their previous custodial interrogation were contrary to their recorded conversation.
Earlier, there was an input that the CBI had rounded up Garg from Sector 22, Chandigarh, after which he was taken to the Sector 17 police station and even to his Sector 26 office. The media tried to locate Garg throughout the day, but in vain as the CBI and the Chandigarh Police remained tightlipped on the developments.