The CBI today told the Delhi High Court that journalist Upendra Rai, arrested by the probe agency for his alleged involvement in dubious financial transactions, was only a "front" and other big fish were involved in the matter.
Challenging a trial court order granting bail to Rai, the CBI said his custody was required as fresh arrests were being made in the case and the FIR showed that public servants were involved and under investigation.
Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, representing the CBI, said if Rai is released on bail, he might hamper the ongoing probe by tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses.
"Rai is a front. He is being used by others. Others are the real big fish," he said.
Lekhi along with advocate Rajdipa Behura, also appearing for the CBI, told the court that a public servant was yesterday arrested in the case.
The CBI's counsel claimed in the high court that the findings in the trial court's bail order were "utterly perverse" and the investigation was at a crucial stage. Therefore the scribe should not be allowed to be released on bail.
The court fixed the matter for July 16 for hearing further arguments on the CBI's plea.
Rai's counsel has claimed that the bail was rightly granted by the trial court and it should not have been stayed by the high court.
Rai was granted bail by the trial court in the CBI case on June 8 and moments after he got the relief, he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Tihar Jail here.
On June 18, the operation of the June 8 bail order was stayed by the high court after it sought Rai's response on the CBI's plea challenging the relief.
Rai was arrested by the CBI on May 3 for allegedly indulging in dubious financial trnasactions and getting an airport access pass made by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) by furnishing false information.
The Supreme Court had on May 4 refused to interfere with his arrest.
In its FIR, the agency has alleged that going by the value of the 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.
The ED had arrested him in the money laundering case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.
It had registered a money laundering case against him based on the CBI FIR.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)