A Delhi court on Tuesday refused to grant further custody of NRI businessman C C Thampi to the Enforcement Directorate and sent him to judicial custody till February 7. Special Judge Arvind Kumar will pass an order on Thampi’s bail plea on Wednesday after brief arguments were addressed Tuesday.
Thampi, who will be sent to Tihar Jail until he is granted bail, was arrested by the ED in connection with a case of alleged money laundering in which the agency is probing the role of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
Thampi is said to be a close aide of Vadra and is alleged to have helped him invest in real estate assets in London, including the Bryanston Square property in London which the agency had earlier alleged was acquired by Bhandari for Vadra.
The ED was represented by Amit Mahajan and N K Matta who sought a four-day custody saying that only two witnesses have answered summons so far. The ED told the court that eight summons were issued in the last five days. Only one person joined the investigation on the last date of hearing and only one witness turned up for questioning, the ED submitted.
“These are people directly or indirectly connected with the accused. There are various logistic problems if he is sent to judicial custody. Summons have been sent, the officer went, one witness locked his house and ran away. I am not sure they will come in the next four days also,” Mahajan told the court.
“I do not find any sufficient ground for extending the PC remand of accused. The accused has already been in the custody of ED for 10 days and prior to that he had joined the investigation on 15 occasions,” the judge said.
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