Observing that Rajesh Sharma,chairman and managing director of city-based firm Money Matters,seemed to be the “kingpin” in the multi-crore kickbacks-for-loans scam,the Bombay High Court today rejected his bail plea.
“Rajesh is the main link between financial institutions and those companies who are seeking loan. Although the loans sought may be legitimate,it does not rule out the possibility of bribe having been given to public sector officials,” Justice R C Chavan observed.
The court called for the transaction accounts between Money Matters and companies like M/S Lavasa,Suzlon and Vatika companies for perusal. “I want to understand why does a company that is securing over Rs 100 crore loan need a middle agent,” Justice Chavan remarked.
Senior lawyer Uday Lalit who represented Rajesh submitted the documents to the court.
CBI counsel Ejaz Khan argued that “the agency is yet to ascertain the agent who transferred the bribe amount from Mumbai to Delhi through Hawala transactions.”
The court finally rejected Rajesh’s plea observing that the investigation is not yet over. CBI arrested Sharma and his two employees – Sanjay Sharma and Suresh Gattani on November 24.
Apart from the trio,LIC Housing Finance CEO Ramchandra Nair,Naresh Chopra,Secretary (Investment) LIC; R N Tayal,General Manager of Bank of India (Delhi); Maninder Singh Johar,Director of Central Bank of India; Venkoba Gujjal,Deputy GM of Punjab National Bank (Delhi) were also arrested in the scam.
According to CBI,the LIC and bank officials colluded with Sharma’s firm to sanction large loans to housing firms,overriding mandatory conditions for such sanctions. They were also gathering confidential business information from financial institutions.
While all the other accused were granted bail by the lower court,Sharma is still in judicial custody.
UPDATE: Mr Rajesh Sharma, Accused in Spl Case CBI Nos: 9/11, 65/11, 66/11, 71/11 & 72/11 has informed that he was discharged from prosecution commenced under provisions of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 in all these cases by Orders passed by HHJ Sp Judge Mr A A Khan (CR 47) on 17.06.2015.