SC appoints ex-judge A.K. Patnaik to probe against CJI

SC appoints ex-judge A.K. Patnaik to probe ‘larger conspiracy’ against CJI

The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday appointed its former judge, Justice A.K. Patnaik to probe whether a conspiracy is afoot against the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.Justice A.K. Patnaik.

Justice Patnaik has been tasked to unearth whether the CJI is the target of a larger intrigue hatched by a powerful lobby of fixers, disgruntled apex court employees and corporate figures to compromise the highest judiciary itself.

The enquiry would primarily focus on material and affidavits provided by lawyer Utsav Singh Bains that claimed some former staffers of the court, influential peddlers and corporate entities have ganged up against Chief Justice Gogoi to frame him in a false case. Justice Patnaik would test Mr. Bains’ claim that he was approached by a person called ‘Ajay’ in early April. He was offered up to Rs. 1.5 crore to file a false case against the CJI. This man, the lawyer said, claimed to be a relative of the former apex court staffer who has levelled sexual harassment allegation against the CJI.

IB, CBI, Delhi Police chiefs to assist

A Special Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra ordered the chiefs of the CBI, the Intelligence Bureau and the Delhi Police to assist Justice Patnaik, who has to complete his investigation and file a report in a sealed cover before the Bench.

Incidentally, Justice Patnaik was in the news after a Bench led by Chief Justice Gogoi appointed him on October 26, 2018 to supervise the 14-day CVC inquiry into allegations of graft and misconduct against former CBI Director Alok Verma.

In a passionate outburst of indignation, Justice Mishra said there were rich and powerful people who thought they could bludgeon and blackmail the court into submission, but little did they know that they were playing with fire.

Justice Mishra’s words came at the end of an hour-long hearing into Mr. Bains’ affidavit that said he has proof of a powerful lobby of fixers, some disgruntled employees and corporate figures at work to frame the CJI. “This country must know the truth. The Supreme Court cannot be run by money power or political power. When somebody tries to clean up the system, he is killed or maligned. This will stop,” Justice Mishra said.

SG asked not to interfere

The court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta not to interfere when he sought a special investigation team probe into Mr. Bains’ allegations. “Leave it to us… We want to tell the rich and the powerful of this country that you cannot play with fire… That you are playing with fire when you play with this court… What do the powerful of this country think? That they can run this court?” Justice Mishra’s voice boomed across the thickly-packed but silent courtroom.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising voiced her apprehensions about leaving the probe into Mr. Bains’ allegations to the government. “Don’t provoke us anymore… This is your institution, not ours. We, judges, come and ago. This is the court made by the likes of Fali Nariman, Nani Palkhiwala and K. Parasaran… But every other day we hear of bench-fixing, every day wrong practices are made in the court… Whenever we start hearing a big case, letters are written… Whenever big cases or big persons are involved, this happens in this court… People are trying to this court, its registry with money power… So many things are going on,” Justice Mishra retorted.

Indira Jaising’s plea

Ms. Jaising said as a stakeholder in and officer of the court she urged the Bench to “probe the credentials of this person [Utsav Bains]”. “My Lords have to see if he has come to the court with clean hands,” she said.

Ms. Jaising also voiced her concern about whether the probe into the ‘larger conspiracy’ would consume the allegations raised by the woman against the CJI. Her allegations were being examined separately by a committee of three apex court judges. “Your Lordships cannot investigate her defence,” she submitted.

Justice Mishra responded, “This Bench will not enquire into her allegations. Our job is to find out if somebody approached Utsav Bains to file a false case; whether they are two former Supreme Court employees or others; whether there are fixers involved; whether a conspiracy was hatched after bench-fixing attempt failed.”

Justice Mishra, however, added that if the allegations against the woman were proved, then she would seem to have no defence. “”Mr. Bains does not know this Ajay… He may not be a brother of the woman complainant… We do not know what will come out of all this, but we will find out the truth,” he said. The case would now be listed after Justice Patnaik files his report in the court.


CBI registers FIR in ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case

CBI registers FIR in ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case  

The CBI has booked former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar, Chanda Kochhar, former MD & CEO, ICICI Bank. Fileher husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group MD Venugopal Dhoot in connection with alleged cheating and irregularities in loans sanctioned by the bank to the group in 2012, officials said on Thursday.

On January 24, CBI officials carried out searches at multiple locations, including the offices of Videocon group in Mumbai and Aurangabad, offices of Nupower Renewables Pvt. Limited which is operated by Mr. Deepak Kochhar, and Supreme Energy after registering a case. The search operation was initiated to examine and seize documents pertaining to the case on Thursday. “It was alleged that the accused sanctioned certain loans to private companies in a criminal conspiracy with others to cheat ICICI bank,” the CBI spokesperson said.

Alleged anomalies in dealings between bank, Videocon and NuPower Renewables, a company promoted by former ICICI MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak, in 2010.

In addition to Ms. Chanda Kochhar, her husband Mr. Deepak Kochhar and Mr. Dhoot, the agency has also named companies Nupower Renewables, Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics Ltd. and Videocon Industries limited as accused in the FIR registered under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of prevention of corruption act, they said.

It is alleged that a company related to Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot invested ₹64 crore in NuPower in 2010, and later, the proprietorship of the company was transferred to a trust owned by Mr. Deepak Kochhar for ₹9 lakh after the Videocon Group received a loan of ₹3,250 crore from ICICI Bank in 2012.

Ms. Kochhar first went on leave and later put in her papers in October 2018 after the CBI initiated a preliminary inquiry into the matter.

The agency’s move comes 10 months after the CBI registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot, Mr. Deepak Kochhar and unidentified others in March 2018, they said.

A PE is a precursor before the agency lodges an FIR to probe criminal charges on the basis of evidence collected during the former exercise.

-JANUARY 24, 2019

Rakesh Asthana, Special Director moved out of CBI

Rakesh Asthana, Special Director moved out of CBI

A week after a high-powered committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ousted CBI chief Alok Verma, the government on Thursday moved out Special Director Rakesh Asthana from the probe agency. The tenure of three other senior officers of the probe agency has also been curtailed.

Special director Rakesh Asthana moved out of CBI
Special director Rakesh Asthana moved out of CBI

Asthana is facing corruption charges in the Moin Qureshi case. An FIR was filed against Asthana and others last year after Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana claimed he had paid bribes to get relief in a case related to meat-exporter Moin Qureshi and made allegations of corruption and extortion against Asthana.

The Delhi High Court has given the CBI ten weeks time to complete the investigation against Asthana. “The Appointment Committee of the cabinet has approved the proposal of DOPT/AV division for curtailment of tenure of the following officers working in CBI in the rank of Special Director/ Joint Director/ DIG/SP with immediate effect. Rakesh Asthana, Arun Kumar Sharma, Manish Kumar Sinha, Jayant J Naiknavare,” read the government notification.

Last week, Alok Verma was removed as CBI director on corruption charges based on a CVC report despite objections from Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, who was one of the three members in the committee.

The government on October 23 had sent Asthana on forced leave, divesting him of his powers, along with Verma after their clash levelling mutual allegations of corruption against each other.

Verma, however, challenged the government’s decision in the Supreme Court that last week set aside the government’s order and reinstated him only to be ousted two days later by the committee.

Another officer whose tenure has been curtailed is CBI DIG MK Sinha, the main supervisory officer of the case against Asthana. Sinha was one of the officers transferred amid the CBI feud.

His petition has alleged that NSA Ajit Doval interfered in the probe against Asthana and that Law Secretary Suresh Chandra tried to influence Sana Sathish Babu.

-January 17, 2019

Alok Verma reinstated as CBI Director by Supreme Court

Alok Verma reinstated as CBI Director by Supreme Court 

A three-judge Supreme Court Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday set aside the “overnight” divestment of Alok Verma as CBI Director on the intervening night of October 23-24, saying statute empowers neither the State nor the Central Vigilance Commission to hamper with the tenure of the CBI chief.
Alok VermaThe judgment was written by Chief Justice Gogoi who, however, was on leave. The puisne judges on the Bench, Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph, pronounced the verdict in open court. Justice Kaul read out excerpts of the judgment.

The judgment upheld Mr. Verma’s contention that he should not have been divested from the CBI directorship without the prior approval of the committee of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, which has, in the first place, the statutory authority to recommend the appointment of CBI Director under the DSPE (Delhi Special Police Establishment) Act.
The statute gave neither the CVC (Central Vigilance Commissionnor the government the power to disengage him from his functions and duties. These authorities cannot assume superintendence over the CBI Director when there is no legislative intent to back their assumption.

‘No policy decision till CVC probe is over’

The judgment said Mr. Verma shall, however, take no “major policy decision” till the high-powered panel takes a call on his fate. This committee has to meet within a week. Mr. Verma is retiring by the end of this month.

The court held that the very legislative intent behind amending the DSPE Act and empowering the Prime Minister-led panel to recommend the appointment of a CBI Director was to insulate the functioning of the agency from the State and political higher-ups.

The judgment extended the interpretation of ‘transfer’ of the CBI Director to also mean his divestment. The Section 4 of the Act requires the prior approval of the panel before transferring the CBI chief before his statutory two-year tenure is over. Henceforth, any change in the tenure — whether transfer or divestment — of the CBI Director would be done with the prior approval of the panel.

On December 6, 2018, the Bench reserved order on Mr. Verma’s petition and another filed by NGO Common Cause.

On the last day of hearing, Chief Justice Gogoi quizzed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CVC, about its tearing hurry to divest Mr. Verma “overnight” of his powers on October 23.

The enquiry against Mr. Verma was based on a complaint of misconduct filed by CBI Special Director R.K. Asthana with the Cabinet Secretary on August 24 in the background of a bitter feud between the two. The complaint ultimately led to Mr. Verma’s removal on the intervening night of October 23-24. Mr. Asthana was also exiled the same day.

Mr. Mehta had countered by terming the sudden action a result of an extraordinary situation. “Two senior-most CBI officers [Verma and Asthana] had turned against each other. Instead of probing cases, they were raiding each other, registering FIRs against each other. They may tamper evidence. This was a surprise situation!” he said.

‘Why no prior approval from panel?’

The court had repeatedly asked why neither the CVC nor the government chose to take prior approval from the Prime Minister-led panel  before removing Mr.Verma before the end of his statutory two-year tenure.

The government and the CVC had vehemently argued that there was no need to consult the panel. The court had indicated that the government and CVC had not come out with a reason for not consulting the panel before removing Mr. Verma.

The Chief Justice had questioned the ambit of Section 4 of DSPE Act. It said that CVC’s superintendence over CBI was restricted to only probes in corruption cases. Can the CVC go beyond Section 4 of DSPE Act, the Chief Justice asked on the last day of hearing.

Mr. Mehta had argued that Mr. Verma’s divestment of his powers did not amount to a ‘transfer’. “Word ‘transfer’ would mean a person is divested permanently from one place and invested permanently in an equivalent position in another place… On October 23, considering the seriousness of the allegations, we decided to do something [divestment] which was less than a transfer,” he said.


Sohrabuddin case; CBI court acquits all 22 accused

Sohrabuddin Sheikh ‘fake’ encounter killing case: CBI court acquits all 22 accused

A special CBI court in Mumbai on Friday acquitted all the 22 persons accused in the alleged fake encounter killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and his associate Tulsiram Prajapati. “The way in which evidence was brought before me I could not help,” Justice SJ Sharma said while passing the order. He ruled that the prosecution has failed to put forth any “documentary and substantive evidence” to suggest or establish the alleged conspiracy.

Policemen Narayansingh Chauhan and Yudhvirsingh Chauhan, who were acquitted in the Sohrabuddin Sheik fake encounter case, seen outside the special CBI court in Mumbai on Friday.

Ninety-two witnesses, including three key ones, turned hostile during the trial. Taking note of this, the judge said though the prosecution took efforts to bring as many as 210 witnesses, nothing could be done “if they don’t say anything.”

Of the accused, 21 are junior-level police officials from Gujarat and Rajasthan.The other was the owner of a farm house in Gujarat where Sheikh and Kausar Bi were allegedly illegally detained before their death.

Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife Kausar Bi were killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2005 by Gujarat Police. File Photio

Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife Kausar Bi were killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2005 by Gujarat Police.  

The court had earlier discharged, for want of evidence, 16 of the 38 persons charged by the CBI. These included BJP president Amit Shah, then Rajasthan home minister Gulabchand Kataria, former Gujarat police chief P.C. Pande and former senior Gujarat police officer D.G. Vanzara.

The court had earlier discharged, for want of evidence, 16 of the 38 persons charged by the CBI.

According to the CBI, Sheikh, a gangster with terror links, Kausar Bi and Prajapati were ‘abducted’ by the Gujarat police from a bus when they were on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad on the night of November 22 and 23, 2005.

The CBI charge sheet said Sheikh was killed in a fake encounter on November 26, 2005 near Ahmedabad, while his wife was killed three days later and her body disposed of. A year later, on December 27, 2006, Prajapati was shot dead by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in an alleged fake encounter near Chapri on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border.

-PTI, DECEMBER 21, 2018

New CBI chief once transferred for inflammatory speech in Brahmapur

New CBI chief once transferred for inflammatory speech in Brahmapur 

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s Odisha unit has questioned Nageswara Rao’s appointment as New CBI chief, alleging that his “anti-minority bias” is no secret, citing a controversial speech he made 20 years ago as a young officer. Nageswara Rao was the vice chairman of Brahmapur  Development Authority.

Nageswara Rao was at Brahmapur Development Authority as the vice chairman

A 1986 batch officer of the Odisha cadre, Rao had reportedly made “communal comments and questioned the Constitution’s bias” in a public speech in Brahmapur in 1998, which led to public outrage, inquiries by revenue divisional commissioner (RDC) and deputy inspector general of police (DIG), and he was eventually posted out of Brahmapur in 1999.

CPI(M) Odisha state committee secretary Ali Kishor Patnaik alleged that Rao had “accused Islamists, Christians and Marxists as the main threat to human rights” in a speech at an event to mark the International Human Rights Day on December 10, 1998. He had made the same charge in a PIL back field in the Orissa High Court back then, he told ET over the phone.

Patnaik, who hails from Brahmapur and was the party secretary for Ganjam district then. The event led to Rao’s eventual transfer out of Brahmapur  Development Authority where he was the vice chairman, said Patnaik who labelled the interim CBI director as “an ideological friend of BJP”.

His petition accused Rao of giving “inflammatory and communal speeches” that would fuel communal tension. “He (Rao) also did not hesitate to interpret the Constitution in his own way and accused the framers of the Constitution as ‘pro-minorities’,” it said.

According to his petition, which he shared with ET, the text of Rao’s controversial speech was published by the regional paper Anupam Bharat on December 13, 1998. The outrage that followed and Rao’s own refusal to retract the statements were also documented in the local press. “After his eventual transfer, although he was back in Brahmapur later, I didn’t pursue the case,” Patnaik said.

The CPI(M)’s protest had been followed with the party’s then general secretary the late Harkishan Singh Surjeet writing to the President about the matter, according to Patnaik.

-ET BureauOctober 26, 2018

CBI Special Director bribery case: CBI to continue probe

CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana bribery case: CBI to continue probe

The Central Bureau of Investigation; CBI will continue the probe against its Special Director and main accused Rakesh Asthana, and others in a bribery case,. It will also take away all responsibilities from Mr. Asthana, who is No. 2 in the country’s apex investigative agency.

“The [Delhi] High Court has rejected quashing the FIR filed against him and others. So the probe will continue and status quo will be maintained only in respect of two petitioners — Rakesh Asthana and Devender Kumar,” a top CBI official told.

Rakesh Asthana in 2017.Mr. Asthana had not been attending office for the last two days. “All responsibilities will be taken away from him considering the sensitivity of the case in which he is an accused, and also to ensure that no fudging of documents take place,” the official said.

When asked whether Mr. Asthana has been asked to proceed on leave, he said, “The CBI Director will write to the government seeking his immediate transfer from the agency on the ground that his continued presence may hamper the probe in the case.”

It may be noted that the CBI Director has reportedly recommended his suspension from the service pending investigation in the bribery case.

The Delhi High Court on October 23 directed the CBI to maintain status quo on the criminal proceedings initiated against Mr. Asthana, who has challenged the FIR lodged against him on bribery allegations.

The High Court clarified that there was no stay on the ongoing probe.

Justice Najmi Waziri also sought the response of the agency and its Director Alok Kumar Verma, as also its Joint Director A.K. Sharma, on the separate pleas of Mr. Asthana and Deputy Superintendent Devender Kumar, who was arrested in the bribery case on October 22.

Notice has also been issued to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the administrative arm of the CBI.

The court asked both Mr. Asthana and Mr. Kumar to preserve the records of the case and also their mobile records. It posted the matter for hearing on October 29.

During the hearing, the CBI said charges against Mr. Asthana are serious and the agency was investigating the matter and was likely to add more offences in the FIR.

Mr. Asthana’s counsel and senior advocate Amrendra Sharan said it was the case of an illegal registration of an FIR against the Special Director, based on the statement of the accused.

Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan appeared for Mr. Kumar for quashing of the FIR against him.

Asthana’s plea

Mr. Asthana has also sought direction be passed that no coercive action be taken against him by the CBI. He moved the petition on October 23, hours after Mr. Kumar approached the court, which agreed to give an urgent hearing.

Both the petitions were mentioned before Chief Justice Rajendra Menon, who allocated the matter for hearing before Justice Waziri.

Mr. Kumar, who was the investigating officer in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, was arrested on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of businessman Sathish Sana, who had alleged to have paid bribe to get relief in the case.

In his statement, Mr. Sana purportedly said that in June 2018, he discussed his case with Telugu Desam Party’s Rajya Sabha member C.M. Ramesh who, after speaking to the CBI Director, assured him that he would not be summoned again. “From June onwards, I was not called by the CBI. I was under the impression that investigation against me is complete,” he is believed to have said.

The CBI has now alleged that Mr. Kumar fabricated this statement as an “afterthought… to corroborate the baseless allegations made by Asthana against CBI Director Mr. Verma to the CVC [Central Vigilance Commissioner]”. They said the agency was also looking into the alleged role of the other members of the special investigation team headed by Mr. Asthana, who had also complained against Mr. Verma.

Seven-day CBI custody for Kumar

Meanwhile, a Delhi court allowed the CBI to quiz Mr. Kumar in custody for seven days.

Special CBI Judge Santosh Snehi Mann remanded him to the custody of CBI, which had sought 10 days of his custodial interrogation, alleging that it had recovered incriminating documents after raiding his office and residence.

The CBI has claimed that Mr. Kumar was part of an extortion racket being run in the garb of investigation.

Mr. Kumar’s counsel, however, opposed the submission and moved a bail plea before the court.

The CBI has also sought the court’s nod to add some more sections in the present FIR against the accused, including Mr. Kumar.


CBI wanted to arrest Modi, Shah in Ishrat Jahan case

CBI wanted to arrest Narendra Modi, Amit Shah in Ishrat Jahan case: Ex-DIG Vanzara

Gujarat’s former DIG of Police DG Vanzara told a special court that the CBI wanted to arrest then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and then Minister of State for Home Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jahan fake shootout case.

Arguing for Vanzara in a discharge petition filed in the CBI court presided over by J.K. Pandya, his counsel VD Gajjar claimed that though the Central Bureau of Investigation intended to arrest Modi and Shah, “fortunately” it did not happen. While Modi is now the Prime Minister of India, Shah is the President of Bharatiya Janata Party.

CBIVanzara, who is out on bail in the case, had earlier submitted in the same court that Modi was secretly questioned by the case Investigating Officer when he was the Chief Minister. The CBI had given a clean chit in 2014 to Shah on grounds of “insufficient evidence”.

In June 2004, Mumbai-based 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan, her friend Javed alias Pranesh, and Pakistani nationals Zeeshan Johar and Amzad Ali Rana were gunned down by a team of Vanzara’s men in a gun battle on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

Ishrat Jahan and her friends were dubbed terrorists out on a mission to assassinate the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. However, subsequent CBI investigation concluded that the shootout was fake.

Vanzara’s lawyer on Tuesday claimed that the charge-sheet against his client in the case was “concocted” and that there was no prosecutable evidence against the former police officer.

He also said that the testimony of witnesses could not be believed as some were earlier among the accused in the case.

The CBI opposed the discharge plea of Vanzara. Another co-accused and senior police official N.K. Amin too has filed a discharge plea in the same court and hearing on it concluded last month.

In his final submission in the court, Amin, a retired SP and now a practicing lawyer, claimed that Satish Verma, the Gujarat cadre IPS official who assisted the CBI in the investigations, had “tampered with the evidence” and maintained that he had “never fired from his gun”.

Both former police officers had also sought parity with former in-charge DGP P.P. Pandey, a co-accused who was discharged by the court. The court posted the matter for next hearing on June 15.

-AhmedabadJun 06, 2018

CBI raids Delhi Minister Jain’s residence

CBI raids Delhi Minister Jain’s residence, registers case over PWD hiring

The CBI raided the residence of Delhi Health and Power Minister Satyendra Jain over alleged violation of norms in hiring of a creative team in the Public Works Department(PWD) and registered a case.
The case has been registered against Jain, S.K. Srivastava, the then Engineer-in-Chief in PWD and others, a CBI official told IANS. Searches are underway at four-to-five locations in Delhi, including residences of PWD officials and others.
In 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation had initiated a preliminary probe related to the hiring of 24 architects in the PWD’s creative team for various projects, including Mohalla clinics.
“CBI raids my house for hiring creative team by PWD. Professionals were hired for different projects. All were forced to leave by the CBI,” Jain said in a tweet.
Reacting to the raids on Jain’s house, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “What does Prime Minister Narendra Modi want?” His deputy Manish Sisodia quoted a report that said the NITI Aayog had favoured the creative team.

The case has been registered against Jain, S.K. Srivastava, the then Engineer-in-Chief in PWD and others, a CBI official told IANS. Searches are underway at four-to-five locations in Delhi, including residences of PWD officials and others. In 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation had initiated a preliminary probe related to the hiring of 24 architects in the PWD’s creative team for various projects, including Mohalla clinics. “CBI raids my house for hiring creative team by PWD. Professionals were hired for different projects. All were forced to leave by the CBI,” Jain said in a tweet.

“The only job left with the CBI, Delhi Police, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax department is to stop the works done by the AAP in Delhi.”
“Our crime is that we are working to make the national capital a better place and improve the health and education here. All this is done to harass us,” he added. “The Aam Aadmi Party is not going to stop with these practice,” he said.
-IANS |30 May 2018 |  New Delhi

Aircel-Maxis case: Karti gets protection from arrest

Aircel-Maxis case: Court extends interim protection from arrest to Karti

A Delhi court on Tuesday granted Congress leader and businessman Karti Chidambaram interim protection from arrest till July 10 in two cases filed by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Aircel-Maxis case arising out of 2G spectrum cases.

Aircel-Maxis caseSpecial Judge O.P. Saini granted relief to Mr. Karti, son of senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram, after the ED sought time to argue on Mr. Karti’s application seeking anticipatory bail.

“A related matter is pending before the Supreme Court and that will be taken up for hearing on July 2,” advocate Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, said while seeking an adjournment.

The court on April 16 granted interim relief to Karti till May 2 after considering that both the investigative agencies had sought time to file their responses to his anticipatory bail plea. Mr. Karti had filed a plea seeking protection from arrest in the Aircel-Maxis matter, in which the CBI and the ED lodged cases in 2011 and 2012.

The submission was supported by the CBI counsel who requested the court to put up the matter for the next date.

The court on April 16 granted interim relief to Karti till May 2 after considering that both the investigative agencies had sought time to file their responses to his anticipatory bail plea.

Mr. Karti had filed a plea seeking protection from arrest in the Aircel-Maxis matter, in which the CBI and the ED lodged cases in 2011 and 2012.

The matter pertains to grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to firm M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd. for investment in Aircel.

In September, 2015, the CBI filed its status report regarding a probe into the FIPB approvals in the case. The agency in June, 2016 also issued notice to A. Palaniappan, director of Chess Management Services, a company promoted by Mr. Karti.

-PTI, NEW DELHI, MAY 02, 2018