New Delhi: The alleged mastermind of the multi-crore land scam in the capital, Ashok Malhotra, was arrested by CBI on 6 August after he surfaced in the studio of a private news channel.
Malhotra, who had been evading CBI summons for the past few days, was arrested as he came out of the Zee News studio in Noida. CBI officials were waiting outside the studio to arrest him.
Appearing on the channel, Malhotra had offered to surrender on the condition that the central investigative agency interrogate him in the presence of a legal team.
Refuting allegations of any association with politicians and involvement in the land scam, the city-based contractor said he had gone underground “fearing for his life”.
“I have been framed,” he claimed.
Several teams of CBI officials had been conducting searches across Delhi and other areas outside the national capital in the past few days to nab Malhotra, who has been evading questioning despite being summoned by the agency to appear before it.
The agency had on 5 August secured a non-bailable warrant from a city court against the contractor. Special Judge S K Kaushik also asked the investigating agency to produce him before the court on or before 14 August.
Malhotra is accused of having entered into a criminal conspiracy with five DDA officials and fraudulently acquiring plots in Dhirpur area that were meant for resettlement of slum dwellers during 2000-02.
The CBI is examining voluminous documents recovered during raids at Malhotra’s residential premises in Mukherjee Nagar locality and other places here, sources said.
Searches at the residential premises of Malhotra have revealed that he was in possession of 17 luxury cars having VIP number plates, Rs17 lakh cash and about seven kg of gold.