Bribe case: CBI custody of excise official extended till Jan 10

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody of a central excise official and an alleged middleman were Saturday extended till Jan 10 by a special court here for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs.60 lakh from mobile phone importers.

The CBI Special Judge Talwant Singh extended the custody of central excise superintendent Lallan Ojha and alleged middleman Hemant Gandhi.

Central Excise Commissioner A.K. Srivastava is also an accused in the case but has not been arrested as he is in hospital. The other two accused were arrested in central Delhi Monday. Srivastava is in a hospital where he has undergone angioplasty.

The CBI had sought five days’ custodial interrogation of the accused to unearth the conspiracy and confront the accused with evidence.

The probe agency registered a case against the accused for allegedly seeking bribe from two mobile phones importers.

‘Gandhi has close contacts with Srivastava and other officials of the department, he is acting as a middleman for these officials of the department for obtaining illegal gratification by corrupt and illegal means from businessmen,’ said the court.

According to the CBI, Ojha Dec 28, along with a team of officials of central excise, conducted a surprise raid at the warehouse of Dilip Aggarwal and Anand Aggarwal and negotiated a deal for illegal gratification.

The CBI also recovered a cheque of Rs.20 lakh, currency notes along with other evidence.

The probe agency has booked the accused under various sections of the prevention of corruption law.