SC refuses to interfere with arrest of journalist Upendra Rai

The Supreme Court today refused to interfere with the arrest of journalist Upendra Rai by the CBI for his alleged involvement in dubious financial transactions.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said it would not like to interfere in the arrest, saying it has not gone through the application filed by Rai seeking protection.
The CBI had yesterday arrested Delhi-based journalist Upendra Rai for allegedly indulging in dubious financial transactions and getting an airport access pass made by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) by furnishing false information.
Rai claimed he has been framed in the case as he has been writing against Enforcement Directorate (ED) official, Rajeshwar Singh, who was part of the team probing the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.
Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for Rai, said as a journalist whenever he wrote or made averments against the ED official, who is probing the 2G case, or the department, he was falsely implicated.
“This time I have been arrested yesterday and allegations have been made that I have fraudulently acquired an aerodrome pass,”Arora said.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Singh, said false allegations were being made to tarnish the image of the officer and attempts being made to pressurise him.
He said that 2G probe was being monitored by the apex court and allegations were made against the officer when he started probing Aircel-Maxis case and attached some properties in the matter.
Rohatgi said this was the third attempt to level scurrilous allegations against Singh and the court had once initiated  contempt proceeding against Rai.
Arora told the bench that Rai will be produced in the trial court today hence he should be granted protection.
The top court said it cannot interfere in the matter and asked Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to make a chronological chart of the facts and orders in the 2G case and posted the matter for further hearing next week.  Rai was yesterday questioned at the agency headquarters along with two others for the entire day before being arrested, officials had said.
Prasun Roy, chief security officer of Air One Aviation Pvt Ltd, was also booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the case, they had said, adding that the probe agency had carried out searches at eight locations in Lucknow, Noida, Delhi and Mumbai.
In its FIR, the agency alleged that going by the value of transactions above Rs 1 lakh during 2017, Rai’s accounts received Rs 79 crore while Rs 78.51 crore was debited from it during the same period. The CBI alleged that Rai had purchased a fleet of cars out of the ill-gotten money.
It also claimed that that he had received Rs 16 crore in a year from shell companies for bribing and fixing cases in the Income Tax department and also received Rs 6.5 crore from Sahara India in one year.
The agency had also alleged that two persons, Rahul Sharma and Sanjay Snehi, allegedly assisted Rai to park the money and claimed that Rai, in criminal conspiracy with Prasun Roy and others, cheated the BCAS and the Delhi International Airport (DIAL) and fraudulently obtained a temporary and later a permanent Aerodrome Entry Pass (AEP).
By getting the right to access all airports in the country, Rai jeopardised national security, the agency had alleged, adding that Rai was not technically qualified and his name was not approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for the post of the director general of quality control of Air One.
Rai also received Rs 1.02 crore from Air One in four installments, the CBI had claimed. (PTI)