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Home Ministry Official Sent To 14 Days Custody In Jacket Scam

 A Delhi court on Saturday sent a senior Home Ministry official Radhe Shyam Sharma and two others to 14 days of judicial custody in connection with the bullet-proof jackets scam.  Additional Sessions Judge O P
PTI May 01, 2010 16:39 IST
PTI

 A Delhi court on Saturday sent a senior Home Ministry official Radhe Shyam Sharma and two others to 14 days of judicial custody in connection with the bullet-proof jackets scam.

 Additional Sessions Judge O P Saini sent them to Tihar jail till May 14 when they were produced before the court after their CBI custody ended. The probe agency did not press for their further custodial interrogation in the case.

Radhey Shyam Sharma, an Indian Railway and Engineering Officer of 1984 batch, is accused of accepting Rs 10 lakh as bribe in the purchase of bullet-proof jackets for Central paramilitary forces.

 Sharma, along with R K Gupta and his wife Laveena Gupta, both directors of a Delhi-based company involved in production of defence equipment, are booked under various penal provisions dealing with giving and accepting bribe and conspiracy. Sharma has also been charged with misconduct on the part of a public servant.

"The bribe of Rs 10 lakh, given by Guptas to the MHA official, is still to be recovered and the accused are required to be taken outside Delhi for recovering crucial evidence and unearthing the entire case," the CBI counsel had contended while seeking their custody on April 29.

"We also want to ascertain as to whether some other officials of the ministry are involved in the scam or not. For this purpose, the custody of the accused is required," the prosecutor had said.

Earlier, R K Gupta had alleged before the court that he has been framed at the instance of the Home Minister as he had tried to expose the alleged "cartel" inside the ministry which award such contracts.

"This is a revenge being taken by the Home Minister. I and my wife are the technocrats and were students of IITs. We are, in fact, the whistle blowers and forced to pay the price for it," R K Gupta had said.

The CBI prosecutor, however, had opposed the contention saying "We are not a puppet investigative agency. CBI does not work under the MHA and it carries the probe independently."

 "We have got the CD of their taped conversation and this court can hear the same inside the chamber," the prosecutor had said.

"At one point of time, the accused is saying that he is a whistle blower and subsequently, he is paying bribe to the accused official," he said.

The court had termed the offence as serious while sending the accused to CBI custody for two days on April 29.

According to the CBI, the MHA official allegedly developed a "nexus" with some private firms, including that owned by the Gupta duo involved in the supply of 59,000 bullet-proof jackets for paramilitary forces.

Sharma has also been accused of favouring certain other private firms supplying security equipment such as armoured panels, bullet-proof jackets and helmets shields.

The official established an "unauthorised" contact with the private firm and had been demanding and accepting illegal gratification in return for favours shown, CBI alleged. PTI