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South Africa seeking details about whereabouts of Gupta’s who were denied bail in abetment to suicide case of their business partner

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South Africa seeking details about whereabouts of Gupta’s who were denied bail in abetment to suicide case of their business partner


Dehradun , May 27

Two controversial businessmen from infamous ‘Gupta brothers family ’ of South Africa fame who were arrested by Dehradun police on Friday on the charges of black mailing and abetment of suicide of their business partner were denied bail by a local court, today. Earlier, the court had remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days. According to media reports, South African government is also seeking information about them as they are wanted in that country.

The bail application of the alleged accused were presented in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Shaista Bano who after hearing arguments from defence and prosecution  sides turned down the bail application. Ajay Gupta, the eldest of the Gupta brother and his brother-in-law Anil Gupta  were arrested by the Dehradun police under section 306 of IPC for abetment to suicide. Anil Kumar Gupta is married to sister of Ajay Gupta.

Satender Singh Sahni, a known builder and partner of Gupta brothers had committed suicide by jumping from the eighth floor of a building in Pacific Glof area of Dehradun on Friday morning. Before committing suicide, Satender Singh Sahni also known as Baba Sahni in his suicide notes addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had charged his business partners namely Anil Gupta and Ajay Gupta of black mailing, threatening him and lodging false cases against him in Uttar Pradesh in a bid to force him to quit his partnership in their favour. The Saharanpur police had been pressurising Sahni to appear leading to tremendous mental harassment. On the complaint of Ranvir singh Sahni, son of the deceased, the alleged accused were arrested.

The defence counsel had argued that the accused had not spoken to the deceased for past sometime as has stated in the suicide note, however, the prosecution lawyers contended that the deceased had given details of harassment, intimidation and black mailing by the accused and even registration of false and frivolous complaints against him with Saharanpur police. The judge denied the bail application on the ground that investigation in the case is still pending.

The South African officials on Saturday said that they will hold talks with the Indian government following reports of the arrest of two Gupta brothers there, one of whom is wanted here for allegedly looting billions from state-owned enterprises. The three Gupta brothers hailing from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh have been accused of plundering billions of rands in South Africa through their close association with former president Jacob Zuma. The three brother along with their families fled to Dubai after president Zuma was removed from presidency in 2018.  In 2023, the UAE reportedly refused the request for the extradition of Rajesh and Atul following which South Africa declared them as fugitives. The brothers had built a vast empire in the IT, media, and mining sectors.

Gupta’s who had migrated to South Africa in 1993 from Saharanpur had a  vast business empire. The deposed President Jacob Zuma and his family members had close business links with son and wife of President serving on the companies owned by Guptas. President Jacob Zuma had to resign following allegedly corrupt deals involving Gupta companies. The President faced pressure from his own party African National Congress (ANC) to quit on the issue.

“Justice and Correctional Services has noted reports of the arrest of two Gupta brothers, Ajay and Anil, in India. Our arrest warrants were for Rajesh and Atul Gupta. Nevertheless, formal processes are underway through the High Commissioner in India to verify and for possible engagement,” said Department of Justice spokesperson Chrispin Phiri.

South African officials said that  although the reports identified the two as “brothers”, the trio that fled South Africa with their families is Ajay, Atul and Rajesh while Anil is believed to be their brother-in-law, married to their sister Achala.

Addressing a rally of the African National Congress rally in Johannesburg on Saturday, ahead of general elections in South Africa next week, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola confirmed that the government was aware of members of the Gupta family being arrested in India. But he said there was uncertainty about whether any of them were the members for whom South Africa had issued warrants of arrest.

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