The Supreme Court dismissed a plea of journalist Upendra Rai seeking to restrain Enforcement Directorate officer Rajeshwar Singh from conducting an investigation against him in a corruption case. A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the cases lodged against Mr Rai have nothing to do with the 2G case pending before it and his plea is not maintainable in the present set of proceedings.
“We are dismissing it as not maintainable. It is not the subject matter of the present proceedings,” the bench said.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for Mr Rai, said since he had made certain allegations against Mr Singh, the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI have lodged cases against him.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Rajeshwar Singh, said identical allegations are being made time and again and court has often protected the official from such averments.
Mr Rohatgi said cases against Upendra Rai are related to corruption and CBI has allegedly found Rs 100 crore in bank accounts which is the money made out of extortion.
“These all are separate cases lodged against you (Upendra Rai). It has nothing to do with the 2G case. We are concerned with the 2G only. It will be better if you file a separate petition to challenge the proceedings against you,” the bench told Mr Rai.
Earlier, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had opposed Upendra Rai’s plea to restrain Rajeshwar Singh from investigating him.
Mr Swamy had said that the Aircel-Maxis case was brought before the court through his petition and Mr Rai in his plea had made some “scurrilous remarks” against ED officer Rajeshwar Singh, who is investigating the case.
He had also alleged that it was an attempt to delay the completion of probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
Mr Rai was arrested on June 8 by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Tihar Jail in Delhi, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transaction
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 Enforcement Directorate had registered a money laundering case against him based on the case filed by CBI.
In its complaint (FIR), the CBI has alleged that going by the value of transactions of over Rs one lakh each during 2017, Mr Rai’s accounts received Rs 79 crore while Rs 78.51 crore was debited from it during the same period.