Bail plea rejected, industrialist sent to police custody for 14 days.
Kolkata: Rejecting the bail plea of arrested industrialist Pawan Ruia the, Barrackpore Court on Sunday remanded him in two weeks' police custody and allowed the criminal investigation department (CID) to slap three more serious charges including arson and destruction of evidence on Mr Ruia in the case of deliberate incidents of fire and looting at Jessop Factory in Dum Dum.
The alleged owner of Jessop & Co Ltd of Dunlop India was brought from New Delhi to Kolkata in a flight on Saturday night. He was taken to the CID headquarters at Bhawani Bhavan where he spent the night. At around 12.30 pm on Sunday Mr Ruia was taken by a CID team to SSKM Hospital for his medical examination. At around 1 pm he was brought to the Barrackpore Court and was kept in the lock-up.
Security at the court was beefed up with the deployment of rapid action force personnel under special superintendent (CID) Subhankar Bhattacharya's supervision. At around 2.50 pm the hearing began before acting chief judicial magistrate Tshering Yangchen Lepcha.
Five lawyers including Ayan Bhattacharya and Ranjan Das prayed for Mr Ruia's bail.
They argued that Mr Ruia could not be booked in the case as he already stepped down from the post of director of the company's board of mangement in January of 2008. So he had no responsibility towards the deal of around Rs 50 crore between Jessop and the railway ministry, they added. Opposing the bail plea, public prosecutor Pallab Chowdhury prayed for Mr Ruia's custody to the CID for 14 days.
"Jessop argued that Mr Ruia stepped down as a director from the company's board of management. But he remained as chairman of the company. According to the agreement, the railways supplied raw materials worth Rs 50 crores through SAIL and BHEL to Jessop to manufacture seven wagons. But neither the raw materials nor the money was returned on the event of violation of the contract," he said.
Mr Chowdhury elaborated, "When the railway board officials inspected the factory, they found the raw materials were looted. That is why a prayer was made to include three additional charges — 120B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (destruction of evidence) and 436 (arson) of the Indian Penal Code — to the list of three existing charges: 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by a merchant or agent)."
The court turned down Mr Ruia's bail prayer and sent him to police custody till December 25. Reacting to the court order Mr Ruia's son Raghav who was present at the court with his uncle Deepak Ruia said, "I do not know what is going to happen." The CID is now interrogating the industrialist at Bhawani Bhavan.