The court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Ranjeet Kaur on Tuesday extended the police custody of Sarabdyal Singh and his brother-in-law Harjit Singh till October 26 and also allowed his counsel to meet Sarabdyal for an hour daily.
Sarabdyal Singh, personal assistant (PA) of former animal husbandry minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, was arrested on October 20 from Nainital in connection with the multi-crore fund embezzlement scam and was sent in three-day police custody then by the duty magistrate.
During the argument in the court on Tuesday, the vigilance bureau while demanding 10 days of police custody said a lot was yet to be found in the alleged fund embezzlement scam, so the police custody was needed.
Public prosecutor Neelam Sharma mentioned that money was also embezzled in the name of sports clubs that did not exist and it was important to know about how these clubs were formed and their "fake" office-bearers.
Sharma said since the embezzlement ran into crores, Sarabdyal needed to be questioned further by the VB regarding the people involved in opening of fake bank accounts and other details.
During the court proceedings, Sarabdyal remained quiet, but coming to his defence, his counsel Ajay Vermani claimed that Sarabdyal was being made a scapegoat to save some people having political influence.
Vermani said the vigilance bureau had already questioned Sarabdyal for 72 hours and had found nothing substantial.
Vermani told the court that Sarabdyal never collected the cheques of grants and neither did he identify any account holder in the bank. He said it was the officials of the administration who flouted rules.
The judge after hearing the arguments extended the police custody of Sarabdyal till October 26.
The mediapersons tried to speak to Sarabdyal but he was whisked away.
Talking to reporters, Vermani said, "The court has allowed me to meet Sarabdyal for an hour daily during police custody. I haven't got much chance to talk to him but he has told me that he was being made a scapegoat."