Journalist Upendra Rai was on Friday sent to 14-day judicial custody by a Delhi court in a money laundering case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat sent Rai to jail after the Enforcement Directorate said it did not require him for further custodial interrogation.
Rai was sent to a day’s ED custody on Thursday. He had denied before the court all allegations levelled against him by the agency.
Rai has already undergone 15 days of custodial interrogation.
ED had alleged that Rai had extorted thousands of crores of rupees and claimed before the court that ‘top secret documents’ were recovered from Rai’s possession.
The agency had claimed to have recovered, after searches at Rai’s premises and those linked to him, call data records of a senior ED official and an IAS officer earlier posted with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, besides confidential communication between a Singapore-based Indian High Commission official and a former ED chief.
The recoveries allegedly included income tax assessment orders of various companies and suspicious transaction reports of nearly 140 firms generated by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) after joint CBI-ED searches.
CBI arrested Rai 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.
Based on the CBI FIR ED had registered a money laundering case against Rai was arrested on June 8 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Tihar jail in the national capital, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation.
In his application seeking protection from arrest, Rai had claimed he was framed in the case because of his writings against an ED officer, who was part of the team probing the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.
The CBI in its FIR, has alleged that going by the value of transactions of over Rs one lakh during 2017, Rai’s accounts received Rs.79 crore while Rs. 78.51 crore was debited from it during the same period.
(With input from agencies)