New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday remanded Ratan Pal Singh Bhatia, arrested in connection with the bribery case relating to suspended NALCO CMD Abhay Srivastava, in CBI custody till March 5.

Bhatia, a representative of Bhatia Group of Industries, who had allegedly paid Rs 20 lakh bribe to the conduit B L Bajaj for delivery to Srivastava, was arrested
yesterday.

"The allegations on the face of it are quite serious and are required to be investigated thoroughly. Accordingly, I am satisfied that the prayer for police custody remand of the accused is justified," Special CBI judge O P Saini said.

The CBI had submitted that he had paid Rs 20 lakh to Bajaj for further delivery to Srivastava on behalf of Bhatia Group of Industries.

The agency alleged in the court, “there is incriminating evidence in the transcript of recorded conversation between Ratan Pal and B L Bajaj for balance
payment of Rs 40 lakh."

The defence counsel opposed the CBI's plea saying that his client (Ratan Pal's) arrest was wholly unjustified as he was fully cooperating with the investigating agency and had appeared before it as and when he was directed to do so.

Ratan Pal is the fifth person to be arrested in this case.

NALCO CMD A K Srivastana and B L Bajaj are currently in judicial custody till March 3.

(Agencies)