Katara’s judicial custody extended till May 18


New Delhi : A city court Friday extended by 14 days the judicial custody of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Babubhai Katara and four others involved in the human trafficking racket.

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Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kamini Lau extended the Tihar Jail stay of the five – Katara, his aide Rajender Gampa, betel shop owner Sunderlal Yadav, Paramjeet Kaur, the wife of a US-based expatriate who was arrested with Katara for impersonating as his wife, and Kiran Dhar, who allegedly trained women flying out illegally on how to conduct themselves before the immigration authorities.

Extending their judicial custody, Lau deferred the hearing on the bail plea of Paramjeet Kaur. She was arrested April 18 at Delhi airport along with Katara and a teenager while trying to board an Air India flight to Toronto. The boy is staying at a juvenile remand home.

Lau asked police to find out if Kaur’s relatives in the USA had gone there on valid travel documents or had sneaked into the country illegally.

To this Kaur’s counsel said that they were staying there on valid travel documents. The police too agreed.

About a travel agent Yogendra, who is yet to be arrested for his alleged role in the trafficking racket, the magistrate asked police if he was the same person who had earlier been declared a proclaimed offender by her court for evading arrest in a separate case.

Police promised to collect information.

Lau also directed the police to withdraw one of the two First Information Reports, registered against Katara at Indira Gandhi International Airport police station for his role in the human trafficking case.

Katara’s counsel had filed an application objecting to registration of two separate cases by police on his arrest.

During investigations by the Crime Branch of Delhi police the names of four more MPs cropped up as suspects – Mitrasen Yadav, Ashok Rawat and Mohammed Tahir Khan of Bahujan Samaj Party and Ramswaroop Koli of Bharatiya Janata Party.

Police had earlier issued notices to them for questioning but they evaded appearance, citing preoccupation including the ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.