A special court today rejected the CBI's plea to interrogate retired Chhattisgarh High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi and two others in custody for three more days in an alleged medical college corruption case.
Special Judge Manoj Jain sent Quddusi, B P Yadav, a medical college chairman, and Biswanath Agrawala, an alleged middleman, to 14-day judicial remand.
Three others who were sent to jail after their custody was not sought by the probe agency was B P Yadav's son Palash Yadav of Prasad Institute of Medical Science in Lucknow, alleged hawala operator Ramdev Saraswat and one Bhawna Pandey.
During the proceedings in a packed courtroom, the CBI sought the custody of Quddusi, B P Yadav and Agrawala alleging they were not cooperating in the probe and had to be quizzed regarding similar cases involving the 46 medical colleges debarred by the government from admitting students due to sub-standard facilities.
Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences is one of the 46 debarred institutes.
The probe agency alleged that Quddusi had obtained an instalment of gratification from B P Yadav and it needed to investigate how it was paid.
Opposing the CBI plea, advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Quddusi and Saraswat, argued that there were illegalities in the arrest.
He argued that Quddusi, who has also served as a judge in Orissa High Court, was arrested on September 19 but was not produced in court within 24 hours of arrest.
Alleging that the CBI had falsely implicated the accused, advocate S K Sharma, counsel for B P Yadav, submitted that no new facts have emerged and no progress has been made by the agency during the 4-day custody of all the accused.
Adding to this, Aggarwal, on behalf of the former judge, said the accused was being forced to speak when he had nothing to say or reveal. "He has the right to remain silent under Article 20(3) of the Constitution," the advocate said.
Bail applications for Quddusi and Pandey were moved in the court which will be heard on September 27. Seeking their remand, the CBI submitted that the accused were required to be interrogated to unearth the names of public servants involved in this case as well as in other instances of similar 45 colleges which were debarred.
In the last hearing, the CBI had alleged that Rs 1.86 crore was recovered and "a larger nexus needed to be considered as 46 colleges were debarred".
According to the CBI, the arrests were made on September 20 after a detailed search operation at eight locations, including the residence of Quddusi in Greater Kailash area of South Delhi, while searches were also carried out in Bhubaneswar and Lucknow.
It said that a case was registered against them for allegedly trying to settle an ongoing matter relating to a medical college barred from admitting new students.