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Flat scam: cops denied more time,former DDA officer in judicial custody

The Economic Offences Wing told a city court that nothing relevant was revealed during M L Gautam’s eight-day police custody.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi |
January 24, 2009 12:41:29 am

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) told a city court that nothing relevant was revealed during M L Gautam’s eight-day police custody. Officers of the probe agency also put in a request for the extension of his police custody by another four days. Gautum was,however,sent to judicial custody till January 31.

The EOW told the court that Gautam,the alleged mastermind of the DDA flat allotment scam,had in fact “misled” the investigators through out and that nothing incriminating could be recovered during his custody.

EOW officers said Gautam,a former DDA employee,had named a few financiers who funded him for applying in the draw. They were accordingly summoned for investigation but most of these inquiries turned out to be irrelevant to the probe. “The accused has been misleading the probe. He has also been refusing to cooperate with the investigation,” the prosecutor claimed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Digvinay Singh.

The court was also informed that there was no fresh recovery from Gautam during his custodial interrogation. The EOW said Gautam,however,stated in his disclosure statement that he could identify a few financiers and could also give leads on the “fraudulent” filling up of forms under the general category in Bulandshahr.

The prosecution’s arguments were contested by defence counsel Ankur Singhal,who said Gautam had already spent sufficient time in the EOW’s custody for them to question him,and that repeated searches of his house and inquiries in his neighbourhood didn’t bear any results that could be seen as incriminating him. “No fresh recovery was affected even after eight days of police remand. Moreover,all the financiers reportedly questioned by the EOW did not incriminate Gautam in any manner and,hence,there can be no justification for extending his police remand,” the counsel said.

If Gautam was to be taken to Bulandshahr,the EOW could have done this during the period of his custody,Singhal said.

After hearing the arguments from both sides,Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Singh sought a report on the investigation conducted by the EOW so far,and perused this report before deciding on the issue.

Pronouncing its order after some time,the court refused to concur with the arguments put forward by the investigating agency and sent Gautam to judicial custody till January 31,dismissing the EOW’s plea.

Defence counsel Singhal told Newline that Gautam had told him during the legal interview that he had not been taken outside Delhi till date. “May be that’s why the EOW wanted to get his custody extended — on the ground of taking him to Bulanshahr,” the counsel said.

Satbir,Dinesh in judicial custody
The EOW produced Satbir Singh,who allegedly helped Dinesh,a co-accused,in opening a bogus bank account,before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Digvinay Singh on Friday,taking to six the total number of persons arrested in connection with the DDA scam. Satbir was sent to judicial custody till February 6. EOW officials told the court he has a printing press in Bahadurgarh and had helped co-accused Dinesh in forging an election I-card used in opening a bank account under the fictitious name of “Rajiv Kumar”. The investigating officer told the court that a hard disk recovered from the premises pointed to Satbir’s complicity in the forgery. Dinesh,produced after the completion of his three-day police remand,was sent to judicial custody till February 6.

Deepak Kumar denied bail

According to the order whereby Deepak Kumar’s bail plea was dismissed on Thursday,he had submitted a photocopy of a passbook of the J&K Bank with National Securities Depository Ltd in Mumbai for a sham PAN card in the name of “Deepak Singh”. Deepak was also booked under the charges of cheating and forgery in a separate case after two PAN cards were recovered from his house. The prosecutor claimed that Deepak’s acts amounted to forgery and cheating the bank officials as well. The court found substance in the argument and refused to grant him bail.

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