A special CBI court Monday sent Anand Joshi, under secretary with the home ministry, to five days in CBI custody in connection with a corruption case.
Joshi, who has been accused of “obtaining illegal gratification” from various NGOs after issuing notices to them under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), was arrested Sunday, days after he went “missing”. The CBI is reported to have found files relating to activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Sabrang Trust from his possession.
Seeking his custody, CBI prosecutor Manoj Shukla told the court that neither Joshi nor his family were cooperating in the investigation, and that Joshi’s wife had filed a false missing person’s complaint although Joshi was in touch with her.
The CBI alleged that after joining the probe between May 8 and 10, Joshi went into hiding. “He is a very smooth person. Made the CBI run around,” said Shukla.
The CBI also raised the issue of missing files and said Joshi was not able to answer why the files relating to an NGO were at his house. To this, Joshi’s counsel Neeraj Gupta said the CBI did not ask his client about the missing files when he made himself available to the probe agency on May 8 and 10.
Gupta argued that the CBI had arrested Joshi “against procedure” and that he was being targeted. Denying CBI’s allegation that he was not cooperating in the investigation, Joshi told the court that he was “unreachable” for a few days as he had “lost his phone” in Ujjain.
The CBI, meanwhile, alleged that Joshi’s wife was also involved in corruption as she was named as a director in firms floated by him to “launder his ill-gotten earnings”.