“Accused” Chawla is now “Investigator” Chawla

3 December 2009

Ankur Chawla, the son of India Today editor Prabhu Chawla*, who was named in a bribery case concerning the Hindi newspaper Amar Ujala 10 days ago, has had a “status update”.

Chawla junior, a Supreme Court advocate, has now been inducted into the CBI team probing the bribery case involving the acting head of the company law board (CLB).

In other words, the accused has turned approver, with a difference—he will now probe the very case he was a part of.

Chawla had been named as a “middleman” in the CBI first information report (FIR) after the CLB chief R. Vasudevan was caught on the night of November 23 while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 7 lakh from Manoj Banthia, a company secretary of Amar Ujala, to settle a dispute in the family running the regional daily.

Ankur Chawla feigned innocence claiming he was “out of the country” but his house in New Delhi’s Defence Colony was raided and a file relating to the case was recovered “establishing his links with the case“.

Chawla’s name was also missing from the CBI press release.

The Hindu reported that CBI had registered a case against Vasudevan, Banthia and Ankur Chawla under 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 (public servant taking bribe other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act), 8 (taking bribe, in order, by corrupt or illegal means, to influence public servant) and other sections of the prevention of corruption Act.

Although The Times of India reports that Banthia “has all along maintained that it was Ankur Chawla who had allegedly handed over the cash to him asking him to further hand it over to Vasudevan,” a Delhi court was told a different story on November 30.

# “It is submitted that accused Ankur Chawla (the lawyer) joined investigation today,” additional sessions judge O.P. Saini noted, while entertaining a petition seeking policy remand of another accused Manoj Banthia for one more day, reports The Times of India.

# Press Trust of India reports that CBI wanted to quiz Ankur Chawla with the statements made by Banthia during his custodial interrogation but the judge allowed CBI to interrogate Banthia for one more day on the ground that Ankur Chawla had “joined the probe“.

* Disclosures apply

Also read: Prabhu Chawla‘s son named in bribery case

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10 Responses to ““Accused” Chawla is now “Investigator” Chawla”

  1. mysore peshva Says:

    looks like ankur chawla has cut a deal with the CBI.

    the shenanigans are incredible; definitely erosive of the public’s confidence in the justice system.

    thanks, sans serif, for this excellent report.

  2. banana republic Says:

    Thanks Sans Serif, for keeping an eye on this…

  3. Ashwin Koneti Says:

    From a lawyer friend:
    “The phrase “joined the investigation” merely means that he is co-operating and is being questioned. It does not mean he is the investigator. It’s a legal colloquilism that is misinterpreted.”

  4. RK Says:

    How to get your bread buttered on both sides?

    Hunting with the hares and hunting with the hounds?

  5. Munee Says:

    It is the tip of the iceberg. There are many Vasudevans and Ankur Chawlas in judicial society. BE that CLB, HC or……,If this is not stopped now judiciary will also be like politics and bureuacracy. Everything is in name only. Had it been any one else’s son there would not have been any story in the newspapers.
    Where is High Court for not issuing Sou moto contempt notice to Chawla as they have done in R K Anand’s case. Is the bribing the judge is lesser offence then talking to a witness?

  6. Deen Dayal Says:

    Who is trying to save this man. Banthia acted on his behalf. How can he be allowed to become the approver ? If this malaise is to end, people like ankur chawla ought to be punished.

    ***

    High court should issue suo moto notice in this case.

  7. Bharat Mata ka Bhakt Says:

    Ankur Chawla has bribed many people, before this reported incident. When an instituion like TOI can be prevented from pursuing this matter, any further, one can only imagine the magnitute of this corruption and bribery racket, and the power of the individuals involved. I request the media and the common man, to keep away from this muck.

  8. hemashree pandey Says:

    What happened to the conscience of Indian media? Delhi High Court should issue a suo moto notice in this case.

  9. Another Lawyer Says:

    Thanks sans serif for the post. Any idea what the status of the matter? Has Chawla been charged or has he “managed” the system!!


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