DISMISSING THE pre-arrest bail plea of Anuj Saxena, TV actor and chief operating officer of Elder Pharmaceuticals, a city-based firm accused of bribing former director-general of corporate affairs, B K Bansal, a Delhi court Wednesday directed him to surrender within two days. The court said it had “hope and trust” the CBI would “observe all the human rights” while questioning him.
Bansal, who was facing a CBI probe for alleged corruption, and his son committed suicide on September 27, a little over two months after his wife and daughter hanged themselves. The incident raised questions about the CBI’s conduct in the case after it emerged that it was reprimanded by a link court a few weeks ago for not dealing with the situation — suicides of Bansal’s wife and daughter — in “a humanitarian manner”.
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During the bail argument for Saxena before Special Judge Gurdeep Singh, his lawyer expressed concern over his client’s well-being. The lawyer said his client could meet the same fate as the Bansals if the CBI arrested him. The court declined to take the submission into consideration, saying there were other accused too in the case who had not taken such an extreme step. The manner in which a particular situation is handled, depends from person to person, said the court.
The court also observed that Saxena had moved his bail plea for the third time “without any new ground” or “change of circumstance”. “I am of the opinion that he is not entitled to the relief of bail,” observed the court.
In an FIR registered against Saxena, it was alleged that Elder Pharmaceuticals had bribed Bansal to ensure that he did not order a Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) inspection on charges against him. Recorded conversations in possession of the CBI allegedly suggested that a bribe was paid to Bansal on Saxena’s instructions. Saxena’s defence counsel argued that all evidence against his client was documentary, and the voice sample of his client would have sufficed in lieu of his custodial interrogation.
The CBI, through public prosecutor K P Singh, argued despite several notices sent to the accused, he had not joined the probe. The CBI counsel stressed that even the court had come to the conclusion that Saxena’s questioning in custody was required. Elder Pharmaceuticals has allegedly defaulted on fixed deposit payments of Rs 155.17 crore to at least 23,000 small investors.