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Land scam kingpin Ashok Malhotra held

The alleged land-scam mastermind demands that CBI interrogate him in the presence of a legal team.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 06, 2007 06:03 PM IST

The alleged mastermind of the multi-crore land scam in the capital, Ashok Malhotra, was on Monday arrested by CBI after he surfaced in the studio of a private news channel.

Malhotra, who had been evading CBI summons for the past few days, was arrested as he came out of the studio in Noida. CBI officials were waiting outside the studio to arrest him.

Appearing on the channel, Malhotra had offered to surrender on the condition that the central investigative agency interrogate him in the presence of a legal team.

Refuting allegations of any association with politicians and any involvement in the land scam, the city-based contractor said he had gone underground "fearing for his life".

Several teams of CBI officials had been conducting searches across Delhi and other areas outside the national capital in the past few days to nab Malhotra, who has been evading questioning despite being summoned by the agency to appear before it.

The agency had on Sunday secured a non-bailable warrant from a city court against the contractor. Special Judge SK Kaushik also asked the investigating agency to produce him before the court on or before August 14.

Malhotra is accused of having entered into a criminal conspiracy with five DDA officials and fraudulently acquiring plots in Dhirpur area that were meant for resettlement of slum dwellers during 2000-02.

The CBI is examining voluminous documents recovered during raids at Malhotra's residential premises in Mukherjee Nagar locality and other places here, sources said.

Searches at the residential premises of Malhotra have revealed that he was in possession of 17 luxury cars having VIP number plates, Rs 17 lakh cash and about seven kg of gold.

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