The CBI today arrested businessman Rohit Reddy Bathina in connection with a bribery case allegedly involving NTPC Director Finance Kulamani Biswal, officials said. Bathina, Director of BGR Mining and Infra Pvt Limited, was arrested nearly nine days after the agency registered an FIR and carried out searches at various locations, including his and Biswal’s residential premises, they said. Bathina’s father Umapathy Reddy was also questioned recently by the agency. CBI spokesperson said Bathina was called for questioning at the headquarters and was arrested based on evidence recovered by the agency. The agency had registered an FIR against NTPC’s Kulamani Biswal, Bathina and Prabhat Kumar. Biswal is in Board of Directors of NTPC, the country’s largest energy conglomerate. The government has suspended him after the CBI action. Kumar, a confidant of Bathina, was assigned to deliver Rs 5 lakh of alleged illegal gratification to Biswal, the sources said.
The FIR registered by the agency has alleged that Biswal demanded from Bathina that he should arrange US dollars of about Rs 5 lakh to be spent by him during his trip abroad. He was scheduled to leave for his overseas trip on December 11. Bathina offered to deliver the amount in Delhi or Bhubaneshwar, it alleged. Biswal then asked Bathina to give him the cash in Indian currency in Delhi itself which he would convert to $, the agency alleged, adding that Bathina told him that the amount would be delivered by Kumar in Delhi. “Bathina arranged for the delivery of Rs 5 lakh in cash through hawala channels to Prabhat Kumar for further delivery to Kulamani Biswal in Delhi,” it alleged. Kumar was arrested by the agency while he was about to deliver the amount, the sources said.