M A I N   N E W S

Nationwide CBI raids
Four top officials among 70 booked in 54 cities
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 30
As part of its countrywide anti-corruption drive, the CBI today conducted searches on the premises of a former Punjab Minister and about 70 government officials in 54 cities across the country and claimed to have recovered several lakhs of rupees and evidences of movable and immovable assets worth crores.

During the day-long raid, the CBI registered 58 cases against 70 public servants, out of which four cases are against officers of the level of Joint Secretary and above. Of these 58 cases, 39 cases are Disproportionate Assets (DA) cases.

CBI Director U.S. Misra told newspersons that the officers booked in DA cases belonged to Customs and Central Excise (11 cases), BSNL (4), Income tax (3), ONGC (2), MCD (2), CAPART (4), National Council of Homoeopathy (2), nationalised banks (4), Railways (2), Insurance, Bombay Port Trust, IIT Delhi, CBI, Cotton Corporation of India, Indian Airlines, BCCL, NCB and Delhi police, etc.

The CBI’s Anti-Corruption Unit sleuths raided the premises of former Punjab Minister N.S. Kahlon, his PS Vikas, former Finance Commissioner S.S. Kessar and Mandeep Singh, DC (Moga), in connection with the Panchayat Secretaries recruitment scam case, 2003, Mr Misra said.

He said a case had been registered in 2003 on the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court about the scandal in the matter of recruitment of Panchayat Secretaries in Punjab from 1996 to 2001.

“During investigation of this case five places were searched in Punjab,” Mr Misra said, claiming that several incriminating documents and some documents pertaining to the scam were recovered.

Refusing to give any further details, Mr Misra merely said “it is a case of bigger magnitude and our officers are analysing the recoveries”.

In Mumbai, CBI sleuths claimed to have recovered Rs 8 lakh from Commissioner of Income Tax Tribunal B.R. Meena, an IRS official of 1977 batch, besides documents showing property worth crores of rupees.

CBI sleuths recovered Rs 26 lakh from the premises of a Superintendent of Narcotics Control Bureau in Kolkata, Gorachand Chaterjee.

The CBI also booked owners of the Central Council of Homoeopathy in the national Capital for allegedly giving recognition to some of the homoeopathy institutes in the country in an arbitrary manner.

A Senior Engineer in Vishkhapatnam was booked by the CBI for allegedly selling off 12 railway wagons on the basis of forged documents.

Among those raided include, one Superintendent of the Central Excise in Chennai and a Deputy Chief Engineer of Southern Railway.

In Delhi, four cases have been registered so far, including against a Delhi police inspector, Ishwar Singh.

Earlier, the agency had carried out a similar countrywide raids on February 2, April 6 and June 30, during which unaccounted cash worth crores of rupees was seized.

In the first raid, the CBI had booked 194 people and claimed over Rs one crore in cash was recovered and properties worth over Rs 10 crore were detected. In the second raid, CBI sleuths claimed to have detected movable and immovable assets, cash, jewellery and other valuables worth Rs 11.16 crore.

In the countrywide drive on June 30, the CBI had raided 183 places of 106 persons and arrested five persons, including two senior Central Excise officials, besides detecting property worth Rs 10 crore and Rs 60 lakh.


Leak about raids to be probed

Expressing concern over the leak of information of the countrywide raids conducted by the premier investigating agency today, the CBI Director U.S. Misra said probe would be conducted to identify and fix the “black sheep”.

“It is a matter of concern and we will definitely inquire into it and take action against the culprit,” Mr Misra told newspersons when asked how some of the television channels had information about the raids even before the CBI had actually started the searches.

Moreover, one of the Hindi dailies carried a news item on the proposed raids in its Friday edition.


Cop who exposed match-fixing booked

A Delhi police inspector Ishwar Singh, who exposed the match-fixing scandal in 2000 allegedly involving former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje, was today booked by the CBI for allegedly possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Ishwar Singh, now posted as Station House Officer at Tughlaq Road police station, got a surprise this morning when he found sleuths of the CBI’s Anti-Corruption Branch knocking at his duplex flat in the posh Vasant Kunj area of South Delhi.

The CBI slueths began their exercise of ascertaining his wealth after the agency had registered a case that the inspector had allegedly amassed assets worth Rs 40 lakh disproportionate to his known sources of income.

During the searches, CBI sleuths claimed to have recovered Rs 1.07 lakh and assets worth Rs 75 lakh.

Ishwar Singh was the person who had exposed the conversation between Cronje and alleged bookie Sanjeev Chawla. — PTI

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