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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Businessman Satish Sana Babu gets bail in case linked to meat exporter Qureshi

While allowing his bail plea, special judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj directed Babu to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 5 lakh and one surety of like amount.

delhi Updated: Aug 20, 2019 01:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Satish Sana Babu was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 26  and on August 9, the court sent him to judicial custody till August 23.
Satish Sana Babu was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 26 and on August 9, the court sent him to judicial custody till August 23.
         

A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to Hyderabad-based businessman Satish Sana Babu in connection with a case of money laundering related to controversial meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi.

While allowing his bail plea, special judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj directed Babu to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 5 lakh and one surety of like amount.

“The accused (Babu) is directed to co-operate in the investigation and make himself available as and when called for by the investigating agency,” said the judge. The court has also directed him not to leave the country without the court’s permission.

Babu was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 26 and on August 9, the court sent him to judicial custody till August 23.

ED, while arguing against his bail plea, had submitted that Babu made cash payments of Rs 1.75 crore to Qureshi and “was acting as a conduit and facilitator for seeking favours from senior bureaucrats” through Qureshi.

The agency said that throughout the course of custodial interrogation, Babu “remained evasive and non-cooperative as a result of which the investigation on crucial aspects of the case could not be completed.”

Babu, who was at the centre of a tug of war between the CBI’s two top officers last year, sought bail on grounds of parity, noting that Qureshi, the co-accused in the case, is out on bail.

In the first information report (FIR) registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) in October last year, Babu alleged that he had paid a Rs 2 crore bribe to ex-CBI special director Rakesh Asthana to be spared any action in the investigation linked to Qureshi. The money, he alleged, was paid over a 10-month period -- starting from December 2017.

Asthana, however, complained to cabinet secretary Pradeep Sinha two months earlier that Alok Verma, the then CBI director, had called him in February to call off the questioning of the Hyderabad-based businessman. Asthana alleged that Babu was being protected by Verma under a Rs.2 crore deal. Both officers, Verma and Asthana, have denied the charges against them. They have since been removed from the CBI.

With less than a month left before his retirement, Verma put in his papers after being appointed director general of fire services in January. Asthana was appointed as chief of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the agency that oversees security for the country’s aviation sector.