Defence bribe case: Custody of Abhishek, wife extended
Arms dealer Abhishek Verma allegedly took a bribe from a Swiss defence supply company for stalling its blacklisting by India.
New Delhi: Corruption has become a "very very sophisticated" mechanism with global implications, a Delhi court said on Wednesday while extending the judicial custody of businessman Abhishek Verma and his Romanian wife, arrested for allegedly receiving money from a Swiss arms firm to stall blacklisting proceedings against it by the Indian government.
Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Jain remanded Verma and his newly-wed Romanian wife Ancia Neascu, who were arrested on June 8, to judicial custody till July 18 after the CBI submitted that investigation in the case is still going on.
The case was on Wednesday transferred to Special Judge Jain from the court of Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh, who was earlier conducting its proceedings.
"Court cannot ignore the fact that in modern world, corruption has become very very sophisticated mechanism which may have global implications and dimensions in certain cases.
"Keeping in view the nature of the case, the application of the investigating officer for extension of judicial custody of the accused is allowed. Judicial custody of Abhishek Verma and Ancia Neascu is extended till July 18," the court said.
The CBI's plea for extension of judicial custody was opposed by Verma's counsel Vijay Aggarwal who said under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, there should be involvement of a public servant but so far no government official has come into picture and the investigation cannot be initiated only against private persons when no public servant is involved in the case.
The court refused to accept Aggarwal's contention saying it was "misconceived" as the object of the legislation is to effectively combat corruption among public servants.
In the new case, Verma has been accused of taking $ 530,000 from Rheinmetall Air Defence AG (RAD) for using his influence to stall the blacklisting proceedings initiated by the government against it after the Ordnance Factory Board scam had surfaced.