A special CBI court on Monday rejected the bail applications of former Enforcement Directorate (ED) joint director J P Singh, who is in jail in the alleged bribery case. The court also junked similar applications of two other accused – suspended ED assistant director Sanjay Kumar and a Delhi-based bookie, Bimal Agarwal, in a common order. While rejecting the bail petitions, Special Judge S J Raje stated, “Conversations between J P Singh and Bimal Agarwal and other accused have been recovered during the investigation, from which the prima facie evidence of conspiracy has been established. In such facts and circumstances, during the stage of investigation, this court is not inclined to exercise its discretionary power to release the applicants accused on bail.”
The order reveals that Singh and Kumar, along with several other accused bookies, hatched a conspiracy to extract money from other bookies whose names had cropped up during the investigation into IPL cricket betting racket. According to the order, one bookie (Manoj Jain) paid Rs 275 crore to two bookies — Agarwal and Sonu Jalan — on behalf of Singh.
Agarwal and Jalan both are co-accused in this case. They are said to have worked as conduits of Singh. Jain’s name surfaced during the IPL betting case investigation under the supervision of Singh. The bail order quotes Jain as saying that the actual amount was Rs3 crore which was allegedly demanded by Agarwal, Jalan and another accused bookie, J K Arora, for Singh.
According to Jain’s statement, Jalan and Agarwal collected the money for Singh while Jalan has been instrumental in furnishing details of the list of bookies from across the country to Agarwal, who would pass it on to Singh.
Contrary to CBI’s claim, Singh has said in his bail application that these bookies were his informers.
The order reveals Agarwal as main conspirator. Another alleged bookie, Surendra Mandi, who was arrested by Singh during investigation, has been cited as a witness along with another person, identified as Alpesh Kumar Bhagwandas Patel.
From their statements, the order reads, “It appears that Surendra Mandi told the witness to deliver Rs 50 lakh to Sonu Jalan and instructed the witness to deliver the amount to Bimal Agarwal and on instructions of Sonu Jalan, the witness was told to deliver Rs 50 lakh at Lucknow on behalf of Agarwal.”
Another witness, identified as Mukesh Kumar, has recorded the statement, claiming that he learnt from Manoj Jain that “he was being threatened by Agarwal and Jalan on behalf of Singh and they were demanding huge amount from him for sparing him from ED action.
In order to convince him to put pressure on Manoj Jain, Arora told that Mandi had also paid Rs 1-1.5 crore to get his name out of the list of bookies against whom ED was taking action. After a few days, Manoj Jain informed the witnesses that he had paid Rs 2.75 crore to Bimal and Sonu.” CBI sources said that Mukesh Kumar is a Delhi-based bookie who had been arrested and chargesheeted by Singh.
On the role of Sanjay Kumar, the order states that he allegedly collected Rs 2 crore as bribe from two bookies Anil Naukar and Dinesh Anada through his friend Paresh Patel. CBI has alleged that he had demanded Rs 4 crore from the bookies. The order states that Paresh Patel has recorded his statement under section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate through which, prima facie, evidence has been found against Kumar.
CBI had lodged the FIR against Singh in September 2015. So far, it has arrested seven accused, including Sanjay Kumar and five bookies – Chandresh Patel, Bimal Agarwal, Sonu Jalan, J K Arora and Jayesh Thakkar.
Jalan, Arora and Thakkar were granted default bail after the CBI failed to file chargesheet. CBI has accused Singh of “collecting huge” amount of bribe, running into crores of rupees, from bookies and hawala operators, for not arresting them during the investigation into Surat hawala and IPL betting cases he supervised.