Bail for former Ed official

NEW DELHI, NOV. 27. A Delhi court today granted bail to Mr. Ashok Aggarwal, former Deputy Director of the Enforcement Directorate, Delhi Zone, and two others in a disproportionate assets case.

The Special Judge, Mr. Ajit Bharihoke, released Aggarwal, his brother, Vijay Aggarwal, and the latter's accountant, Sish Ram Saini, on their furnishing personal bonds of Rs. 1 lakh each with sureties of the same amount.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested the three last month on charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery and amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income.

The court asked them to surrender their passports to the CBI and not to leave the country without its permission. Further, they were asked to appear before the investigating agency every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for one month.

Their plea for bail were admitted as the CBI had on November 13 told the court that it needed their judicial custody till November 27 to wrap investigations.

The CBI alleged that from April 1990 onwards, Aggarwal and his brother had acquired assets of the value of Rs. 49 lakhs and had expenditures of Rs. 17 lakhs against an approximate income of Rs. 33 lakhs.

Ashok Kumar Aggarwal and his family members had opened various benami accounts in different banks here for showing acquisition of shares of fictitious companies owned by his brothers Vijay Kumar Aggarwal and Mohan Lal Aggarwal, it said.

It alleged said that transactions worth Rs. 48 lakhs was conducted through these accounts between 1991 and 1994. These transactions were with respect to one company called Messrs Indocil Silicon Pvt. Ltd. of which Ashok Kumar Aggarwal was the founding director before he joined the Indian Revenue service.

It further alleged that the capital worth of these companies increased manifolds between 1991-92 and 1994-95 when Ashok Aggarwal was the private secretary of the then Minister of State for Steel and Mines and Planning and Programme Implementation Minister, Mr. Balram Singh Yadav.

Investigation of the so-called account holders revealed that they were non-existent at the given address, the CBI alleged, adding that some of the account opening forms and the bank vouchers of the benami accounts were found to be filled up in the handwritings of Aggarwal and his brothers, mainly Vijay Kumar Aggarwal.