Journalist Upendra Rai denied bail in money laundering case

PTI
Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The court took note of the submissions made by ED's special public prosecutors N K Matta and Nitesh Rana that the accused may influence the witnesses and hamper the probe if released on bail.

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed the bail plea of journalist Upendra Rai, arrested in June by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.

Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Syal denied the relief to Rai, saying the allegations against him were serious and it was not a fit stage to grant him bail.

The court took note of the submissions made by ED's special public prosecutors N K Matta and Nitesh Rana that the accused may influence the witnesses and hamper the probe if released on bail.

It also noted the ED's submission that the investigation was still on in relation to the "top secret documents" recovered from Rai's possession and the agency was trying to find out how he procured them.

The ED also told the court that Rai is an influential person and he may destroy evidence and flee from justice, if he comes out of jail.

It had told the court through advocate Samvedna Verma that Rai had extorted money from various persons claiming he had information against them as he was a journalist and that thousands of crore of rupees were extorted.

In his bail application, Rai has claimed that he was not required for further custodial interrogation and no purpose will be served by keeping him in further custody.

The application said that Delhi-based scribe was ready to abide by any condition imposed by the court. Rai had denied before the court all allegations levelled against him.

The journalist was arrested on June 8 by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Tihar jail here, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.

He was arrested by the CBI on May 3 for allegedly indulging in dubious financial transactions, getting an airport access pass made by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) by furnishing false information, alleged extortion and manipulation of an Income Tax Department case against a Mumbai-bound businessman.

The Supreme Court had on May 4 refused to interfere with his arrest by the CBI. The ED had registered a money laundering case against him based on the CBI FIR. 

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