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Biocon Briberygate: Delhi Court Reserves Order On Bail, Voice Samples

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By: Anand Singh | Alok Singh
Updated: July 15, 2022 19:58
Biocon Group headquarters in Bengaluru (file photo)
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NEW DELHI: A local court on Friday reserved its order on the bail application of four accused in the Rs 4 lakhs bribery scandal involving pharma major Biocon Biologics and Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) officials arrested last month.

The special CBI court will pronounce its judgment on the bail pleas of Joint Drugs Controller S Eswara Reddy, Dinesh Dua, L Praveen Kumar, and Guljit Sethi on Monday.

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Judge Nirja Bhatia also reserved its order till Monday on the CBI request for the voice samples of L Praveen Kumar, the Associate Vice President and Head of National Regulatory Affairs (NRA) of Biocon Biologics Limited, Bangalore, who was also arrested on June 20.

ALSO READ: Amid Biocon’s Bribery Scandal, Medicos Wary Of Its Insulin Shot

The CBI had filed an application to record the voice samples of all five accused before the vacation bench on June 21.

According to CBI sources, on May 18, the word ‘data’ used in the trial application was allegedly replaced by ‘protocol’, which could have benefited the company in getting the approval of the Insulin Aspart injection. Based on that, a case was registered and Reddy was arrested, the sources added.

One of the sources cited above further said that the case was triggered after the interception of several conversations between the accused. “Based on communications and interceptions of the calls of the accused, it was found that they were indulging in wrongdoings and that was the reason the CBI demanded their voice sample,” he said.

ALSO READ: Bound By Code Of Conduct: Biocon Refutes Bribery Allegations

The bail application of another accused, Animesh Kumar, assistant drug inspector (ADI) in CDSCO’s New Delhi office, will be heard on Saturday.

Commenting on The New Indian’s report, Seema Ahuja, Global Head of Communications and Corporate Brand for Biocon Biologics & Biocon Group, tweeted, “It’s incorrect to label it as Biocon Briberygate, with no mention of CDSCO whose two officials were arrested in this case, intermediary agency whose official was caught with CDSCO official. Why target the Company? Biocon has denied bribery allegations. Lets wait for judgement (sic).”

Biocon Biologics, headed by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, was caught in controversy last month after CBI officers caught a person red-handed giving bribery of Rs 4 lakhs to Reddy on behalf of the drug manufacturer to waive phase-three clinical trial of Insulin Aspart injection.

The company, however, has dismissed the allegations.

In an FIR, the CBI named Reddy and Dua who is director of Synergy Network India Private Limited, Guljit Sethi aka Guljit Chaudhary, director of Delhi-based Bioinnovat Research Services Private Limited, L Praveen Kumar, associate vice-president and head-National Regulatory Affairs (NRA) of Bengaluru-based Biocon Biologics Limited, and Animesh Kumar and other officials of CDSCO.

According to the CBI, Dua agreed to pay a bribe amount of Rs 9 lakh to Reddy for favourably processing three files of Biocon and also for recommending “Insulin Aspart Injection” to the Subject Expert Committee (SEC).

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