IAS, KAS officers, others under scanner
JAMMU, July 9: The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) today conducted simultaneous raids at 12 places in Srinagar, Udhampur, Jammu and Kathua in connection with fake arms license racket and fraud committed in Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). Searches were part of nationwide crackdown launched by the CBI today in connection with corruption, criminal misconduct and fake gun license racket across 110 locations in 19 States/Union Territories including Jammu and Kashmir.
An official statement issued tonight by the CBI Headquarters to the Excelsior said the Agency carried out searches at 11 places simultaneously in Srinagar, Udhampur and Jammu today at the locations of private gun houses in connection with on-going investigations of two arms license cases registered on the consent of Jammu and Kashmir Government.
Though the CBI statement didn’t elaborate on day-long searches, reliable sources said documents pertaining to gun licenses racket were seized from some of the gun houses in Srinagar, Udhampur and Jammu during the raids, which concluded by late this evening.
No arrests were made, they said, adding the fake gun license racket, which had roots in six to seven districts of Jammu and Kashmir was handed over to the CBI by the State Government last year after Rajasthan Police had detected large number of fake gun licenses in their State issued from different districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
The CBI teams also conducted searches in Kathua district in connection with a case registered against the then Assistant Development Officer (Khadi), KVIC, Jammu and the then Accountant, KVIC Jammu, the official statement said.
It added that the accused during the period from 2010-11 to 2015-16 entered into a conspiracy with Chairperson and Secretary of a private craft society based at Mankey Talab, Kathua and cheated the Government to the tune of Rs 17.73 lakh approximately.
The fraud was committed on the pretext of executing programme of the Government of India under Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in respect of Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme, purportedly executing the same on paper only, on the basis of forged and fabricated documents, the CBI statement said, adding searches were conducted in this case in Kathua.
Some documents pertaining to the case have been seized by the search parties.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government had last year handed over the fake arms license racket initially to the Vigilance Organization (now Anti-Corruption Bureau) and later to the CBI in view of reported involvement of some senior Government officers including in the rank of IAS and KAS, who had been posted as the Deputy Commissioners, for investigations following inputs that the number of fake licenses were used by “anti-social elements’’ in Rajasthan to procure weapons.
The CBI had registered First Information Reports (FIRs) before conducting the raids in Srinagar, Udhampur, Jammu and Kathua districts.
No arrests have been made so far, according to sources. However, the arrests are not ruled out, they said, adding the CBI would scrutinize the record to find out genuine and fake license holders before proceeding further.
Today’s raids, sources said, were aimed at seizing record of gun dealers, who were under radar for being in-league with the administration, in issuance of fake gun licenses. A number of non-State subjects have also been issued gun licenses from five to six districts of Jammu and Kashmir, they added.
Apart from the gun dealers, the IAS and KAS officers, who were at the helm of affairs in the districts where bulk fake gun licenses had been issued, were under scanner of the CBI, sources said.
Over 50 people including the brother of an IAS officer have been arrested in the case so far in Rajasthan, where the racket was first detected, as majority of these arms licenses were given to people who did not belong to Jammu and Kashmir, on the basis of forged documents, sources said.
According to sources, 1,32,321 of the 1,43,013 gun licenses in Jammu region’s Doda, Ramban and Udhampur districts were issued to those residing outside the State in the past.
Sources said initially the investigators were not aware of the magnitude of the case and its serious ramifications when they began the investigations. A sample survey of licenses issued from one of the districts had shown that no files or registers had been maintained by the district authorities and many of the arms licenses might have been issued to outsiders on the basis of forged documents.
Nearly six districts of Jammu and Kashmir including four in Jammu region and two in Kashmir division were reportedly under radar of the CBI in connection with issuance of fake gun licenses including many of them to non State subjects.
PTI adds: The CBI today searched premises of the former Secretary to ex-Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in connection with a probe into the sugar mills disinvestment scam case, officials said.
The searches in the disinvestment scam case, which allegedly took place during the BSP rule in UP, were conducted at 14 locations in Lucknow and NCR.
The properties of former IAS officers Netram and Vinay Priya Dubey and premises of former MLC Iqbal Singh’s sons — Wajid Ali and Mohammed Javed — were searched.
Netram had held the position of Secretary to Mayawati for some period when she was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh between 2007 and 2012, while Dubey was the managing director of Uttar Pradesh State Sugar Corporation, they said.
The premises of a chartered accountant at Barakhamba Road in New Delhi and another person in UP’s Saharanpur were also searched in connection with the disinvestment scam case.
During the searches, the agency recovered cash worth Rs 11 lakh, they said.
The agency had registered an FIR and six preliminary inquiries to probe the disinvestment scam case pertaining to the sale of 10 running and 11 closed sugar mills of the State Government.
Days before this year’s Lok Sabha polls, the Income Tax Department had searched Netram’s properties where it claimed to have recovered huge wealth.
The searches in the disinvestment scam case were part of a coordinated search operation carried out by around 500 officials of the agency at 110 locations across 19 states and Union Territories, they said.
The operation was spread across Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Pune, Jaipur, Goa, Raipur, Hyderabad, Madurai, Kolkata, Rourkela, Ranchi, Bokaro, Lucknow, Kanpur and other locations in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar.
This is the second massive search operation conducted by the agency in a week. A similar operation was carried out last Tuesday against banking fraud accused.
The search operation pertained to about 30 FIRs registered by the agency at various points of time related to criminal misconduct, corruption and cheating, among others.
The CBI also conducted searches at the office of Krrish Buildtech in New Delhi’s Jasola and its name had figured in a probe against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
The agency also searched 11 premises in Munirka, Krishna Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Nirman Vihar, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Dwarka, Pitampura and Turkman Gate in Delhi and NCR in connection with its FIR against alleged corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar and his company Advantage India as part of its operation.
The premises of a branch manager of the Punjab National Bank, Meerut Road branch in Ghaziabad and Bulandshahr were searched by the agency for allowing exchange of demonetised currency notes worth Rs 58 lakh, they said.
Three Customs Officers Kunal Anuj (IRS), Sharad Ranjan and Kamleshwar Singh who held the position of Deputy commissioner of Customs in Nhava Sheva port terminal between March 2017 and April 2018 have been booked by the agency. They allegedly facilitated illegal disbursal of duty draw back amounts of various exporters which were kept on hold because of an ongoing investigation against them.
The agency carried out searches at 28 locations in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, in connection with these three FIRs.
The premises of K A Duggal, the then CMD, British India Corporation Limited, Kanpur, company secretary K V Vajpayee are being searched for alleged irregularities in tendering process while selling the properties of BICL.
The cases in which search operations are going on also include cheating of a Mumbai-based businessman who was sold 980 acres of land worth Rs 11 crore in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh on the basis of forged documents.
The CBI has taken over investigation on the orders of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The cases also include that of a missing woman from Jaipur in Rajasthan, disbursal of 13 housing loans worth Rs 3 crore by a SBI branch manager in Haridwar.
IAS, KAS officers, others under scanner