ED opposes former Tehelka editor Upendra Rai's bail plea, says he 'is influential, may destroy evidence'

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday opposed the bail application of journalist Upendra Rai, arrested in a money laundering case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.

Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Syal reserved its order on Rai's application for 19 January  after hearing arguments form both sides.

Special public prosecutors Nitesh Rana and NK Matta, appearing for ED, told the court that the accused may influence witnesses and hamper probe if released.

ED opposes former Tehelka editor Upendra Rais bail plea, says he is influential, may destroy evidence

File image of journalist Upendra Rai. PTI

In his application, the Delhi-based scribe claimed he was not required for further custodial interrogation and no purpose will be served by keeping him in custody.

ED told the court that Rai had extorted money from various persons, claiming he had information against them as he was a journalist and that thousands of crore of rupees were extorted.

Agency's advocate Samvedna Verma also told the court that Rai, once the editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, was influential and he may destroy evidence and flee from justice if he comes out of jail.

The journalist was arrested on 8 June, 2018, by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Tihar jail, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.

He was arrested by the CBI on 3 May 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-based businessman.

However, he recently secured bail from the Delhi High Court in the CBI case. The ED had registered a money laundering case against him based on the CBI FIR.  Rai has denied before the court all allegations levelled against him.

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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2019 19:02:56 IST

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