A special court on Wednesday granted interim bail to three central excise officials till May 25 in a bribery case.
Excise superintendent Vidyadhar Joshi, assistant commissioner Pradeep Angachekar and inspector Vinaya Kale were released on a personal bond of Rs 25,000 each with one or two sureties of the like amount.
Special judge D R Mahajan warned the officials not to visit the excise office at Akurdi and complainant's office Ramdas Gaikwad and his hotel at Chakan.
The officials were directed to report at the CBI, Pune, between 9 am and 3 pm till further orders. They were released on interim bail because the CBI sought time to respond to their bail pleas.
The CBI on Tuesday evening arrested Joshi and Kale for allegedly accepting Rs 1.25 lakh from Gaikwad for not levying service tax on a multi-purpose hall opened inside his hotel at Chakan with retrospective effect. Angachekar was arrested for negotiating the 'deal'.
Earlier, inspector N M Parab produced the trio before the court for seeking CBI custody for three days.
Special public prosecutor Vivek Saxena told the court that the custodial interrogation of the officials was essential to probe their alleged nexus as searches conducted at the residences of Kale and Joshi had led to the seizure of over Rs 2.62 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively.
Opposing the prosecution's plea, defence counsel Sudhir Shah argued that the CBI had not cited valid reasons for seeking their police custody remand and prayed to send them to judicial custody. The court considered the lawyer's plea and sent the officials to judicial custody and later released them on bail.