The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with the arrest of journalist Upendra Rai by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his alleged involvement in dubious financial transactions. In his application to the apex court, the former CEO and Editor of Sahara Media group and Tehelka had pleaded that he was innocent.
On his arrest, the CBI had said that Rai’s bank accounts saw transactions of over Rs 100 crore in 2017-18. Some of these transactions, the CBI said, indicate “pumping of tainted/ ill-gotten money into the system”.
Rai claimed that he has been framed in the case as he had been writing against an ED official who was part of the team investigating the 2G spectrum allocation case. He will be produced before a trial court in Delhi later in the day.
Rai was questioned by the CBI on Thursday along with chief security officer of Air One Pvt Ltd Prasun Roy and an unidentified staff of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). CBI had mentioned all three names in its FIR.
“For the year 2017, his (Rai’s) bank account transactions, each above Rs 1 lakh, show credit of Rs 79 crore and for the same period reflect a debit of Rs 78.51 crore. He allegedly purchased a fleet of cars out of the ill-gotten money,” says the FIR.
The agency conducted searches at various locations linked to Rai across Delhi, Lucknow, Noida and Mumbai.
According to the FIR, Rai had obtained a temporary Aerodrome Entry Pass (AEP) in January 2017 claiming to be a consultant with Air One with the aid of Air One Pvt Ltd and some BCAS officials. Later he was issued a permanent AEP by the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), declaring himself as Director-Quality Control of Air One. The pass is valid till December 2018.
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