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Money Matters CMD in judicial custody till Dec 16

While rejecting Rajesh's bail, special CBI judge S P Tawade said he is the main accused and since the case is still at a crucial stage, releasing him on bail would hamper investigations.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation court on Friday rejected the bail plea of Rajesh Sharma, CMD of Mumbai-based firm Money Matters, arrested in the bribe-for-loans scam, and remanded him in judicial custody till December 16.

Two other arrested employees of the firm - Sanjay Sharma and Suresh Gattani - were, however, granted bail on a surety of Rs two lakh each.

While rejecting Rajesh's bail, special CBI judge S P Tawade said he is the main accused and since the case is still at a crucial stage releasing him on bail would hamper the investigations.

On November 24, apart from the trio, CBI also arrested five more persons - LIC Housing Finance CEO Ramchandran Nair, LIC Secretary (Investment) Naresh Chopra, Bank of India General Manager R N Tayal, Central Bank of India Director Maninder Singh Johar and Punjab National Bank Deputy GM Venkoba Gujjal.

The court had last week granted bail to all the eight accused, but CBI arrested Rajesh, Sanjay and Gattani again in another case related to the same scam.

The agency on Friday sought further custody of the trio stating that further investigation was on as several documents and incriminating CDs were seized from their offices and residences.

"The accused while conversing with each other never took names and addressed each other with code names. Rajesh used to address Johar as Gullu. We are in the process of deciphering this code language," CBI counsel Ejaz Khan told the court.

According to CBI, LIC and bank officials colluded with Sharma's firm to sanction large loans to housing firms, overriding mandatory conditions for such approvals. They were also gathering confidential business information from financial institutions.