New Delhi: Senior CBI officer Vivek Dutt, who headed the Coalgate scam probe team, and three others were on Saturday sent to three days in the agency`s custody by a Delhi court for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 7 lakh from a businessman to favour him in a land dispute case.
Superintendent Dutt, CBI inspector Rajesh Chandra Karnatak, alleged middleman Rajesh Pachisia and businessman Dinesh Chand Gupta were produced before the court where CBI sought seven days police custody of the four accused.
"All the accused are remanded in CBI custody till 21 May," Special CBI Judge V K Gupta said.
Dutt, however, claimed innocence and alleged a conspiracy has been hatched to keep him out of the Supreme Court-monitored Coalgate probe team.
During the hearing, the CBI prosecutor told the court that Dutt and Karnatak were in the same branch in the agency and Pachisia was in regular contact with them.
CBI said Dinesh Gupta had a land dispute and a cheating case was registered against him at Amar Colony police station here and Dutt used to pressurize the Delhi Police officials, who were investigating the cheating case, to quash the FIR and for this he had demanded Rs 15 lakh from Gupta.
The prosecutor said the SHO of Amar Colony police station was initially reluctant but later he succumbed to the pressure and the FIR was quashed.
CBI said Pachisia was apprehended yesterday when was handing over Rs 7 lakh to Karnatak.
The prosecutor told the court that Rs 15 lakh cash was recovered from Pachisia, Karnatak and Gupta.
Seeking seven days custody of the four accused, the prosecutor also said that during the searches conducted by the agency, Rs 24 lakh cash was recovered from the residence of Karnatak yesterday.
Opposing CBI`s plea for police custody, the defence counsel said Dutt was investigating a very important case of Coalgate scam under the supervision of the Supreme Court and if such an allegation is levelled against such a senior official, then the court should look into it very cautiously.