New Delhi [India], May 19 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) got four days remand of S Bhaskar Raman, a close aide and former chartered accountant of Congress MP Karti Chidambaram in an alleged visa scam case.
Special CBI Judge Prashant Kumar on Thursday said, "It is reflected from the submissions of CBI that investigation has started in this case which is at its inception, investigation officer is required some time to collect all the relevant information which may be necessary in this case, therefore, in my considered opinion, it would be appropriate that 4 days police remand custody is granted to the CBI."
Court noted that the accused is admittedly CA of Karti Chidambaram and he has been wanted in another case wherein he has been enlarged on bail. The FIR is dated May 14, 2022. It is further reflected that though the accused has been inquired about during this period, however, a detailed inquiry, as well as a recording of his statement, is yet to be done. It is also stated by and on behalf of CBI that there are other accused persons involved in this case for which relevant information is required to proceed ahead in this case.
CBI while seeking remand of S Bhaskar Raman alleged that the accused being CA of Karti Chidambaram has a relevant piece of information as well as various e-mails which are required to be extracted from him for which his police remand is required. A thorough detailed investigation is to be done to extract such information from the accused.
Appearing for accused S Bhaskar Raman, senior Advocate Trideep Pais stated that there is no need to detain the accused in police custody for the reason that, it is a case of the prosecution that all the e-mails have been obtained in the INX Media Case itself. It is further stated that in the search list dated May 17, 2022, it is clearly mentioned that he gave e-mail passwords for two e-mail IDs readily and with regard to the e-mails, where he had forgotten the passwords, requests for passwords were sent to Google and on receipt of the password, the e-mails were downloaded.
On Tuesday, the CBI has registered a case against five accused identified as Karti P Chidambaram, S Bhaskararaman, a close associate, Vikas Makharia, representing Mansa (Punjab) based private company, M/s Talwandi Sabo Power Limited, Mansa (Punjab), M/s Bell Tools Limited, Mumbai (Maharashtra) and unknown public servants and private persons.
It has been alleged that the private company based at Mansa was in the process of establishing a 1980 MW thermal power plant at Mansa (Punjab) and establishment of the plant was outsourced to a Chinese Company.
"It has been further alleged that the project was running behind its schedule. In order to avoid penal actions for the delay, the said private company of Mansa was trying to bring more and more Chinese persons/professionals for their site at District Mansa (Punjab) and needed Project VISAs over and above the ceiling imposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs," the investigation agency said in an official release.
It has also been alleged that for the said purpose, the Representative of the said private company approached a person based in Chennai through his close associate/frontman and thereafter they devised a back-door way to defeat the purpose of the ceiling (maximum of Project VISAs permissible to the company's plant) by granting permission to re-use 263 Project VISAs allotted to the said Chinese company's officials.
According to the release, it has also been alleged that in pursuance of the same, the said representative of a Mansa-based private company submitted a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking approval to re-use the Project VISAs allotted to this company, which was approved within a month and permission was issued to the company.
The CBI said that a bribe of Rs 50 Lakh was allegedly demanded by a said private person based in Chennai through his close associate/frontman which was paid by the said Mansa-based private company.
"It has been further alleged that the payment of said bribe was routed from Mansa based private company to said private person of Chennai and his close associate/frontman through a Mumbai based company as payment of false invoice raised for Consultancy and out of pocket expenses for Chinese VISAs related works whereas the private company based at Mumbai was never in any kind of work relating to VISAs rather it was in an entirely different business of industrial knives," it added,
Searches were conducted at around 10 places including Chennai, Mumbai, Koppal (Karnataka), Jharsuguda (Orissa), Mansa (Punjab), Delhi and others. (ANI)