Co-founder of Micromax Informatics, Rajesh Agarwal, stepped down as the managing director of the company on Thursday. A city court has remanded him and six others in seven-day police custody following their arrest on the charge of offering bribe to corporation officials.
The CBI had arrested Agarwal, his partner Manish Tuli and middleman Rajesh Gupta on Wednesday for allegedly giving a Rs 30-lakh bribe to employees of North Municipal Corporation in order to get clearance to construct a banquet hall in Wazirpur Industrial Area.
According to CBI, Rajesh Gupta, an employee of Delhi Development Authority, had introduced Agarwal and Tuli to the corporation officials. Thereafter, the bribe was collected by corporation beldars on behalf of the engineers. The three beldars — Satish Kumar, Naresh Kumar and Sanjay Kumar — and Ashok Lamba, the driver of the vehicle in which the trio were trying to flee after collecting the bribe, were also arrested.
An FIR has been filed against the seven under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Police have also arrested an MCD engineer, R K Sethi, for his alleged involvement. Further arrests are expected in the case, the Investigation Officer said.
Around 16 raids were conducted at the offices and houses of the accused. Police recovered nearly Rs 74 lakh from Kapil Dev, one of the engineers on whose behalf the bribe was allegedly collected, and Rs 37 lakh from beldar Satish Kumar.
The CBI has sought further police custody of the accused to unravel “the involvement of other government officials and private persons”.
Ramesh Gupta, counsel representing Agarwal, told Special CBI Judge Poonam A Bamba that his clients were not perpetrators of a crime but victims of extortion. “When one is put under the threat of extortion, naturally they will negotiate,” Gupta said referring to the fact that Agarwal had scaled down the bribe demand from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.
The prosecution argued that Micromax officials were not bonafide givers of the bribe and, if they were victims, they should have informed CBI.