A CBI Court here dismissed the bail plea of the Registrar of Companies, Chennai, who was arrested for taking bribe of Rs 10 lakh from the industrialist M A M Ramasamy of Chettinad Group. The Court also allowed the CBI to take the Registrar M Manu Neethi Cholan, in its custody from September 3rd afternoon, for three days.
It may be noted that on August 28 when the bail plea came up for hearing the CBI requested the Court that the agency needs Cholan in custody for further investigation. It also said that the CBI officials arrested Cholan along with Rs 10 lakh and another Rs 40,000 was recovered from the car he was traveling. Further, on search conducted in his office and residence, the agency recovered Rs 24.81 lakh along with several title deeds and immovable assets in his name and his relatives’ names.
In a statement on Tuesday, the CBI said that reliable information was received that Cholan had demanded Rs 10 lakh as illegal gratification from Ramaswamy, the chairman of the Chettinad Group of Companies. The statement also revealed that there was an attempt by a rival group within the management to take control over the Chettinad Group during the AGM.
Cholan, according to CBI, demanded the illegal gratification for not approving the decision that was going to be taken at the AGM.
Ramaswamy is known to be the richest Chettiar, one of the richest trading communities in the country, on an individual basis and he has also been the Sheriff of Chennai for two terms. His grandfather was the the Rajah of Chettinad. In 2012, Forbes listed him as the 88th richest person in India with a net worth of $ 650 million.
The Chettinad Group has over 15 companies, including the listed Chettinad Cement. The group’s other interests include cement, power, textile, health care, education, logistics, coal terminals, construction, plantations, and others.