UK-based businessman Ashish Patel, an accused in a case of alleged financial bungling during the 2009 Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) in London, ahead of the games here, today appeared in a Delhi court which granted him bail.
Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh granted bail to Patel, whose two firms, A M Car and Van Hire Ltd and A M Films, are also accused in the corruption case, on a personal bond of Rs five lakh with one surety of same amount.
Patel, in his bail plea, said he has always cooperated with the CBI during investigation of the case and the charge sheet has already been filed and there is no likelihood that he will abscond or tamper with the evidence.
The CBI, which opposed his bail, said Patel is one of the main conspirators and may influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence.
The court, however, granted him the relief observing that all other accused in the case are already out on bail.
“Since other accused are also on bail and charge sheet has been filed and the accused has cooperated in the investigation, accused Ashish Patel is granted bail on a personal bond of Rs five lakh and one surety of like amount,” the judge said.
The judge directed Patel to file an undertaking that he shall appear before it on each and every date of hearing and will not influence the witnesses or tamper with evidence and posted the matter for further proceedings on January 15.
Apart from Patel and his two firms, three former CWG Organising Committee (OC) officials - Joint Director General T S Darbari, Deputy Director General Sanjay Mahendroo and Treasurer M Jaychandran are also named in the case.
The CBI had alleged that OC members had conspired to award contracts for local transportation and other services to Patel’s firms at exorbitant rates during the 2009 QBR event held in London.
The former OC officials have been booked for alleged irregularities in payments made to the UK-based firm A M Car and Van Hire Ltd for transportation services during the QBR.
While A M Films was awarded the work of installing three video screens near Buckingham Palace during the event, A M Cars was given the contract for providing logistics, the CBI had said.
The accused have been booked for various offences under the IPC, including those of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery besides the violations of the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court had issued summonses to the accused after taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed against them.
The CBI had lodged two separate cases against the ex-OC officials but had filed a combined charge sheet in the court.
Darbari, Mahendroo and Jaychandran were earlier arrested in 2010 but were released on bail as the CBI had not been able to file the charge sheet within the statutory time limit of 60 days after the arrest of the accused in corruption cases.