Chennai, Mar 31 (PTI) The Madras High Court has dismissed a discharge petition filed by an official of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), arrested by the CBI in January last, in connection with a graft case involving a private educational institution here.

Justice G Jayachandran passed the order on the plea by G Elumalai, enforcement officer of EPFO, challenging the order of the XIII additional special court for CBI cases, Chennai.

The court had on December 28, 2017 rejected his discharge plea.

On January 15, the CBI arrested Elumalai along with the prime accused, E S Durga Prasad, Regional Commissioner of EPFO in an alleged bribery case involving the Saveetha Group of Institutions.

Five others were also arrested in this connection.

The prosecution case was that Durga Prasad had allegedly demanded Rs 25 lakh as illegal gratification for favouring the group,which runs a university and some colleges in Tamil Nadu.

Acting on a tip-off, CBI sleuths had laid a trap and nabbed Durga Prasad while he accepted bribe of Rs 14.5 lakh from one Sengottiyan.

When the plea came up for hearing recently, Elumalai submitted that he had only discharged his duty as an enforcement officer and there was no evidence to prove that he received any amount as illegal gratification.

Mere association with the other accused in an official capacity could not be construed to mean that he was the party to the conspiracy, he argued.

“When no material is seized from me and when no incriminating evidence has been placed before the court against me, the prosecution ought to have dropped the proceedings against me,” Elumalai contended.

Relying on the evidence produced by the prosecution, the court said it appeared from the material that when Durga Prasad received the bribe the petitioner was present with him.

The judge said there was enough material evidence to indicate the petitioner had full knowledge and was a party to demand and accept illegal gratification.

Since a prima facie case is made out against him sufficient to frame charges, the request to discharge the petitioner does not arise, the judge said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.