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Convicted prisoner in Tihar jail comes to CBI’s defence in Bansal suicide case

Former corporate affairs ministry official BK Bansal, who committed suicide after his arrest last year, had accused the agency of torture. But a convicted prisoner in Tihar jail wrote to the CBI court judge saying that the allegations were baseless.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2017 06:57 IST
Azaan Javaid
Azaan Javaid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BK Bansal,CBI,Torture
Bribery accused IAS officer BK Bansal.(Ravi Choudhary/ HT File Photo)

A convicted prisoner in Delhi’s high security Tihar jail has come to the defence of the CBI after a corporate affairs ministry official, BK Bansal, who committed suicide last September, accused it of torture.

Bansal who was a director general in the ministry, was arrested by the CBI in July 2016 on charges of bribery and attempt to scuttle a probe against a Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company.

But in a twist in the case, BB Sharma, chairman of Hoffland Group of companies, convicted of defrauding thousands of investors in 1990s, wrote a letter to the CBI court judge hearing the corruption case allegedly involving Bansal just nine days after the latter’s suicide and virtually exonerated the investigating agency.

Sharma claimed that he had met Bansal twice in the jail and the latter had consulted him on whether or not he should accuse the CBI of torturing him and his family “to gain sympathy”.

Read more | Hours before suicide, bureaucrat BK Bansal had visited CBI headquarters

In his purported suicide note, copies of which were mailed to media offices, Bansal, whose wife, daughter and son also committed suicide, had accused CBI official Sanjeev Gautam of torturing him. The Delhi police didn’t register any FIR on the basis on Bansal’s suicide note and referred it to the CBI whose internal enquiry report has remained under wraps. Gautam, in the mean time, has been repatriated to his parent cadre.

Sharma, in a 12-page letter written on October 6 last year, claimed that Bansal had confided in him that the probe agency officers interrogating him were “nice” and referred to him as “Sir”. Sharma’s letter, accessed by Hindustan Times, is written in a prayer form and consists of 25 points.

In his letter, Sharma gave a detailed list of his own criminal case -- defrauding investors, getting arrested, jumping bail, being declared a proclaimed offender and then getting re-arrested.

Read more | Bansal suicide: CBI deputes joint director to probe torture allegations

Sharma said that he had met Bansal on August 23 and 30 in the jail. He claimed they had become close friends. Sharma also claimed that Bansal had asked if it would be a good idea to implicate CBI officers handling his cases. Sharma advised otherwise, telling him that he wouldn’t gain any sympathy in a corruption case.

It remains a mystery as to why Sharma should have written a letter to the CBI court judge as he had nothing to do with the Bansal case and why he seemed so eager to certify the probe agency.

The CBI is yet to respond to questions sent by HT regarding his letter. “We know about the letter. Our mandate was to probe allegations against our officers made in the suicide note, which we have done,” a CBI official told HT. He, however, refused to divulge details of the inquiry report.

First Published: Apr 05, 2017 06:56 IST