Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Tomy Jose on Friday remanded former Director of the Information and Public Relations Department A. Firoz to 14 days in judicial custody.
Firoz had surrendered before the police on Thursday after the High Court denied him anticipatory bail in an advance fee fraud case in which he had been arraigned as accused along with alleged financial fraudsters Saritha S. Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan.
The Medical College police had registered the case in 2009 on the basis of a builder’s complaint.
The complainant alleged that Saritha and Radhakrishnan had conned Rs.20 lakh out of him as advance processing charge for Rs.20 crore they said they would get him as loan from the Asian Development Bank.
The police arraigned Firoz as an accused in the case in 2010 on the basis of confessional statements of the accused and other evidence. The police case against Firoz was that the bureaucrat had introduced the duo as ADB officials to the builder.
The police also moved an application seeking the custody of Firoz for further interrogation. The prosecution submitted that the police needed to confiscate the car and gold ornaments Firoz had allegedly received from Saritha and Radhakrishnan in reciprocation for the reference he gave about them to rich and influential people, including the complainant.
The police also submitted that they required to take Firoz to the places he sought refuge after the law declared him a fugitive and also to identify the persons, if any, who harboured him.
Firoz’s counsel argued that the police had fabricated the case against his client. He said he feared for the health of his client, who was a heart patient, in judicial custody. Counsel argued the he be given access to his client when in judicial custody and his presence be allowed when policemen questioned Firoz.