February 25, 2017 6:42:41 pm
A special court Saturday extended the police custody of principal secretary in the Chhattisgarh government B L Agrawal and two others by three days in connection with an alleged bribery case. Besides Agrawal, special CBI judge Virender Kumar Goyal also extended the custody of alleged middleman Bhagwan Singh and the officer’s relative Anand Agarwal after the probe agency said they were required to be confronted with another accused arrested in the case. The fourth accused in the case, Syed Burhanuddin who claimed to be an official of the Prime Minister’s Office, is also in the police custody.
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During the proceedings, the CBI claimed that the investigation was at a crucial stage and the chain of hawala transactions was yet to be established. It also said that it was investigating if any other public servant was involved in the case. The accused persons alleged that they had not been asked any question for the past few days.
The CBI has alleged that the 1988 batch IAS officer wanted to “settle” an ongoing CBI probe against him. According to the CBI, the officer is facing investigation in two cases registered in 2010, when he was the Health Secretary in the Chhattisgarh government. He has been charge-sheeted in one while the probe is going on in the other case.
The agency has alleged that the officer had approached Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Noida, who took him to Burhanuddin to get a graft case “settled”. Burhanuddin, who has many aliases, claimed that he was working in the Prime Minister’s Office and would help him settle the case in his favour.
Burhanuddin aka O P Singh aka O P Sharma demanded Rs 1.5 crore as illegal gratification for his services, the CBI FIR alleged. At a meeting among the trio on February 11, Agrawal had agreed to pay the amount to get relief in the cases against him, it alleged, adding that Agrawal sent Rs 60 lakh in four instalments to Bhagwan Singh using hawala channel. He expressed inability to arrange cash for the remaining payment, following which Burhanuddin and Singh agreed to accept two kilogrammes of gold as illegal gratification, the FIR alleged.
The agency has registered a case of criminal conspiracy and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the accused.
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