SC dismisses Upendra Rai's plea against ED official Rajeshwar Singh, asks him to file new petition challenging 2G case proceedings
Upendra Rai was arrested by the CBI on 3 May for allegedly indulging in dubious financial transactions, getting an airport access pass made by the BCAS by furnishing false information, alleged extortion, and manipulation of an Income Tax Department case against a Mumbai-bound businessman.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea of journalist Upendra Rai seeking to restrain Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer Rajeshwar Singh from conducting a probe against him in a graft case.
A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the cases lodged against 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 Rai, said since he had made certain allegations against Singh, the ED and the CBI have lodged cases against him.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Singh, said identical allegations are being made time and again, and the court has often protected the official from such averments. Rohatgi said cases against Rai are related to corruption and CBI has allegedly found Rs 100 crore in bank accounts which is the money made out of extortion.
The bench told Rai: "These all are separate cases lodged against you (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."
Earlier, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had opposed Rai's plea to restrain Singh from probing him. Swamy had said that the Aircel-Maxis case was brought before the court through his petition and Rai in his plea had made some "scurrilous remarks" against ED officer Singh, who is probing the case. He had also alleged that it was an attempt to delay the completion of the probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
Rai was arrested on 8 June by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Tihar Jail, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) 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-bound businessman.
The ED had registered a money laundering case against him based on the CBI FIR. In its FIR, the CBI has alleged that going by the value of transactions of over Rs 1 lakh each during 2017, Rai's accounts received Rs 79 crore while Rs 78.51 crore was debited from it during the same period.
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