Chargesheeted by the CBI in a corruption case involving its own officer, businessman Bhupinder Singh — who has now turned approver in the case — was pardoned by a Delhi court on Thursday.
The businessman was accused of paying a bribe to a former Army officer, who allegedly accepted it on the behalf of a CBI officer, to settle a disproportionate assets case against Bhupinder.
Apart from Bhupinder, the CBI chargesheet named Nirvikar Singh, the former Aide-de-Camp (ADC) of former Punjab governor and D K Barik, CBI Superintendent of Police. Bhupinder Singh has now been named a prosecution witness in the case.
However, while granting pardon, special CBI Judge Gurdeep Singh stated that Bhupinder will be prosecuted for perjury in case he stopped short of making “true and correct disclosure”.
Bhupinder had moved the special court for grant of pardon after the CBI named him as one of the accused. During the course of the investigation, he had reportedly confessed to his guilt.
“I am of the considered opinion that accused Bhupinder Singh is entitled to grant of pardon subject to his making full and true disclosure of whole of the circumstances within his knowledge relevant to the offences and to every other person concerned, whether as a principal or abettor in the commission of offence,” stated the judge.
In the present case, the CBI had alleged that accused Nirvikar Singh had obtained illegal gratification from Bhupinder Singh in the name of accused D K Barik – with the promise that he would provide relief to him in an under trial case.
CBI claimed that for this purpose, accused Bhupinder agreed to pay Rs 30 lakh in two installments of Rs 15 lakh each.
However, pleading for pardon, Bhupinder told the court that he was “entrapped” by Nirvirkar Singh, who made him “believe” that he would get his under trial case “settled” and took “money from him”.
He further submitted that part of the money was kept by Nirvarkar and the rest was meant for the Barik and “therefore, the true beneficiaries” were both the accused officials.
Meanwhile, the CBI submitted that it had “no objection” to the grant of pardon. The agency argued that “tendering pardon would only strengthen their case and serve the ends of justice.”
It further said that the “recorded conversation” revealed that it was accused Nirvikar Singh who had “coaxed and forced” Bhupinder to give the money.