The CBI is likely to file a chargesheet in the case involving former Orissa High Court judge I M Quddusi in about a month and is likely to attach phone intercepts of the accused along with some established financial exchanges as evidence.
Quddusi and five others have been accused of trying to influence court proceedings over an application to grant admission rights to a medical college barred by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
The case is in Supreme Court, with petitions for an independent inquiry being heard.
The CBI has already recovered Rs 1.86 crore cash and “incriminating documents” from the accused, which are being scrutinised, sources said. It is currently recording statements of various witnesses, sources added.
All six accused are out on bail. The CBI has questioned Quddusi twice after he secured bail. It told court recently that Quddusi allegedly got “one installment of gratification from accused B P Yadav”.
Seeking further custody of the two, the CBI had said, “Their role is required to be interrogated…(to know) how the amount of gratification was paid, by whom, and what was the way of transaction.”
During its probe, the agency had got phone intercepts mentioning Quddusi and two HC judges in connection with the case. These were part of 80 intercepts that the agency had got, according to the CBI public prosecutor. The agency has also taken voice samples of Quddusi to match with these intercepts.
Sources said the phone intercepts of conversations regarding Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences, one of 46 medical institutions barred due to poor infrastructure, prompted the CBI to arrest Quddusi, who had served in High Courts of Allahabad, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The five others arrested were B P Yadav and Palash Yadav, promoters of the medical college; alleged middleman Biswanath Agrawal; alleged hawala operator Ram Dev Saraswat; and Bhawana Pandey, Quddusi’s alleged associate.
The CBI had opposed Quddusi’s bail plea, contending that he may influence witness or tamper with evidence. Special Judge Manoj Jain, however, found the apprehension “unfounded and unsubstantiated”, and observed that Quddusi had “cooperated with CBI”.
Quddusi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said, “He has been cooperating with the investigating agency and has appeared whenever he has been called.”
The CBI FIR alleged that promoters of the Lucknow medical college, one of the institutes barred from admitting students for two years, had approached Quddusi, who had allegedly promised relief from court in exchange for bribes to influential people.
The college challenged the government order in Supreme Court. The court, the FIR said, directed the government on August 1 to consider afresh the material on record. The government heard the matter and barred the college from admitting students for 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic sessions. It also authorised MCI to cash the college’s bank guarantee of Rs 2 crore.
The college promoters moved the Supreme Court, and at the same time also allegedly got in touch with Quddusi and Bhawana Pandey who, the FIR says, promised to get the matter settled. According to CBI, Quddusi advised the promoters to withdraw the petition in SC and file a petition in Allahabad HC. The promoters moved the HC on August 25.
In an interim relief, HC ordered that the college “shall not be delisted from the list of colleges notified for counselling till the next date of listing i.e. August 21, 2017”, the FIR says. The court also stayed MCI from cashing the bank guarantee until the next hearing.
The MCI moved SC against this. The apex court disposed of the matter on August 29, with the college submitting that it “does not claim any benefit from the order passed by HC”. At this point, according to CBI, Quddusi and Pandey “assured to get the matter settled” through their contacts.