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SC dismisses ex-Tehelka Editor’s plea to restrain ED officer from investigating graft case against him

The Supreme Court today dismissed the plea filed by ex-Tehelka editor and journalist Upendra Rai to restrain ED officer Rajeshwar Singh from investigating a graft case against him. According to reports, an SC bench comprising of justice AK Girl and Ashok Bhushan stated that the cases lodged against Rai are unrelated to the 2G case pending before it and Rai’s plea is not maintainable at present.

According to reports, senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who was representing Rai, stated in court that the ED has lodged cases against Rai as Rai had made allegations against Rajeshwar Singh. Countering it, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi reportedly stated that such allegations have always been made against officials of probing agencies and the court has protected them. He also stated that the cases filed against Rai are on charges of graft and extortion and the CBI has already found Rs 100 crores in his bank accounts which is extortion money.

It is notable here that legal activist Subramanian Swamy had earlier stated that Rai had made scurrilous remarks against ED officer Singh because Rai’s name has been linked in the Aircel Maxis case and Singh has been investigating the case. Prominent journalist J Gopikrishnan who helped unearth the 2G scam also had supported Rajeshwar Singh.

The petitioner against ED officer Rajeshwar Singh, ex-Tehelka editor Upendra Rai have earlier been allegedly linked with former finance minister P Chidambaram’s benami deals. He has reportedly amassed huge wealth and as many as 19 residential properties in various cities in the country, including a bungalow worth Rs 30 crores in Delhi. Rai was arrested by CBI in May 2018. As per claims by gurus.com, Rai got paid through consultancy deals via shell companies. He has developed powerful contacts in the then UPA government and reportedly earned hundreds of crores through lobbying and influencing policy making.

In July, Rai was taken into CBI custody in a fresh case where he was alleged of demanding Rs 15 crores from a Mumbai based builder, a person named Balwinder Singh Malhotra, one of the directors of White Lion Real Estate Developers. Rai was also allegedly involved in money laundering and IPL betting. Prior to joining Tehelka, he was associated with the Sahara Group. There too, he was accused of threatening and blackmailing CBI officers who were investigating Sahara’s Subroto Roy

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