CBI court grants bail to woman accused in a bribery case involving Rs 5.89 cr, 23 kg gold

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Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], September 16 (ANI): A Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court of Delhi on Wednesday granted bail to a woman, accused in a bribery case involving Rs 5.89 crores and 23 kg gold in connection with an alleged graft case against A K Kathpal, a former Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer earlier posted at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF).

In the matter, the CBI had arrested woman Hamsa Venugopalan and main accused Kathpal along with other accused persons in an alleged graft case.

Special Judge Balwant Rai Bansal, in an order passed on Wednesday, granted bail to Hamsa Venugopalan on the bail bond of Rs 1 lakh apart from imposing other conditions.

CBI had registered a case against Kathpal in connection with the allegation that he, while holding the post of Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer, ICF Chennai, was indulging in various nefarious activities in collusion with Venugopalan of M/s Universal Engineers Chennai Pvt. Ltd. and unknown other persons in the award or execution of tenders in respect of Mechanical Division of ICF.

According to the CBI, Venugopalan was the custodian of the alleged illegal gratification of Kathpal to the tune of Rs 5.89 crores and that after his superannuation on March 31, 2021, he demanded back the said amount in instalments and that an amount of Rs 1 crore was paid by Venugopalan to the relative of Kathpal through two other co-accused persons.

During the investigation of the matter, the CBI recovered Rs 2.75 crore and gold bars of 23 kg worth approximately Rs 12 crores.

The CBI had also recovered other investments such as FDRs worth Rs 4.28 crore related to the public servant and his family members, property documents and keys of two bank lockers.

Advocate Vijay Aggrawal and Advocate Mudit Jain had filed the regular bail application on behalf of Hamsa Venugopalan, in which Aggrawal argued before the court that no recovery has been made from his client despite the allegations of being in possession of Rs 5.89 crores.

He stated that the charge sheet filed before the court is conjectural and has no basis or evidence to back the allegations levelled by the CBI.

Advocate Aggarwal submitted that the entire case of the CBI is based on very weak evidence of tape-recorded conversations and also that any allegations of influencing cannot be levelled against his client, in this regard he cited several judicial orders, including order granting bail to Justice IM Quddisi, wherein he himself was the counsel.

Advocate Aggarwal also argued that there shall be a delay in the trial, as even the sanction under Section19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 had not been received by the CBI and that the case involved over 90 witnesses and over 140 documents, leading to a situation of serious prejudice to his client, as she would be in a better position to prove her innocence when she is out. (ANI)

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