Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew, Vijay Singla, claimed on Saturday that Rs. 90 lakh recovered by the CBI from him was meant for a land deal he was pursuing. Mr. Singla’s lawyer claimed he was falsely implicated in the case and opposed the CBI demand for Mr. Singla’s police custody.

The lawyer for another suspect, Vivek Kumar, said Mr. Kumar was a computer operator who was asked by his employer to drop the money and had no knowledge of the alleged conspiracy he now found himself in.

Special CBI judge Swarana Kanta Sharma allowed the agency to interrogate Mr. Singla and three other persons — Sandip Goyal, Dharmendra Kumar and Vivek Kumar — till May 7.

“I am of the view that only four accused have been arrested as yet whereas there are eight accused persons named in the FIR, two of whom have been arrested but are yet to be brought to Delhi. Considering the nature of the crime, I am of the opinion that custodial interrogation is essential to not only find out the source of the bribe amount but also the fact as to who are the actual beneficiaries and other conspirators other than those named in the FIR, if any. I, therefore, grant police custody remand for four days,” Ms. Sharma said.

The CBI prosecutor said there was a “big conspiracy” and the persons who intended to benefit from it were yet to be identified. While Rs. 90 lakh had been recovered, the prosecutor said, it remained to be ascertained if more money was arranged or changed hands.

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