NALCO chairman arrested in bribery case, remanded to CBI custody
Moneylife Digital Team 26 February 2011

AK Srivastava his wife, middleman Bhushan Lal Bajaj and his spouse arrested; CBI recovers gold and cash allegedly received as gratification from Madhya Pradesh-based Bhatia group of companies 

New Delhi: A Delhi court today remanded NALCO chairman and  managing director Abhay Kumar Srivastava, his wife and two others, arrested in a bribery case yesterday, in CBI custody till 3rd March.

"The case is required to be thoroughly investigated and for that sustained interrogation of the accused persons is required. Accordingly, I am satisfied that prayer for police custody of accused persons is justified," Special CBI judge OP Saini said.

The CBI arrested Mr Srivastava, his wife Chandani Srivastava, Bhushan Lal Bajaj, described as a middleman, and his spouse Anita Bajaj, and recovered about 10 kg of gold bricks and cash amounting to about Rs30 lakh, reports PTI.

The investigating agency submitted that Mr Bajaj had arranged a deal for bribes between Mr Srivastava and bidders and suppliers of NALCO. The CBI told the court Mr Bajaj was acting as a middleman to obtain favours for the Madhya Pradesh-based Bhatia group of companies and that he had collected huge illegal gratification on behalf of Mr Srivastava from GS Bhatia, the chairman and managing director of Bhatia group.

It also said that Mr Srivastava had instructed Mr Bajaj to convert the gratification from the Bhatia group into gold and to deliver it to him. Ten 24-carat gold bricks, each weighing 1kg, were recovered from a bank locker in the national capital.

The defence counsel opposed the CBI plea for seven days custody saying all searches have already been conducted and recoveries have been made.

Last night, a CBI spokesperson stated that the bank locker, in the name of Anita Bajaj, at the branch of the Bank of Maharashtra, was being operated by Chandani Srivastava. A search of the locker resulted in a further recovery of gold ornaments weighing 188 grammes and currency totalling Rs9.5 lakh.
 
A search of the wife of the CMD of NALCO also led to the recovery of Rs5 lakh from her handbag and a key of another locker, also in the name of the wife of the middleman. A search of this second locker led to recovery of Rs15 lakh in cash. "The total recovery so far has been 10.18 kg of gold and Rs29.5 lakh in cash, the overall value of which comes to about Rs2.43 crore at current gold prices," the spokesperson said.

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