New Delhi, April 28 :Two senior bureaucrats posted in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) were today arrested on corruption charges in two separate cases by the CBI which also conducted raids at their houses.
A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against O Ravi, Joint Secretary (Disaster Management), MHA, two excise inspectors — Ramesh Mahyavanshi and Vijay Halpati — and sub-inspector Suresh Dhodi, said the CBI. They along with directors of six distilleries have been accused of causing a loss of Rs 340 crore to the state exchequer.
“Ravi, a 1983-batch Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, Ravi was arrested for trying to influence the transfer of Daman Administrator after accepting a Rs 25-lakh bribe from Ashok Khemani, owners of distillary from Daman,” said a CBI official. Directors of six distilleries, Khemani Distilleries, Royal Distilleries, Jupiter Distilleries, Krimpy Distilleries, Silver Star Distilleries and Dharmesh Distilleries, and other unknown persons have also been booked.
It has been alleged that in order to evade excise duty and VAT, the distilleries of Daman in connivance with officials of the excise department resorted to under reporting of production by preparing fake documents.
Sources said the Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to suspend Ravi. The suspension orders are likely to be issued soon.
In a separate case, the CBI on Wednesday arrested a director-level officer of Ministry of Home Affairs on corruption charges. RS Sharma, a ’84 batch IRS officer, was looking after Modernisation & Provisioning of Central Police Forces and developed nexus with certain private firms supplying security equipment such as armoured panels, bulletproof jackets and helmet shields, said the CBI.
The probe agency said the officer was ‘granting undue favours’ to such firms in exchange of bribe. The MHA had floated a tender for procurement of 59,000 bulletproof jackets for paramilitary forces in July 2009. The tender ran into controversies after allegations of manipulation & discriminatory trial of samples were raised. This led to reevaluation of tender and retrial of sample bulletproof jackets. “The said officer leaked confidential information regarding the tender and trial process to a competing firm. The officer established an unauthorised contact with the private firm and had been demanding & accepting illegal gratification in lieu of services & favours granted,” said a CBI official.
According to information, searches are being conducted at residential and official premises of the accused officer and residential & factory premises of the owner of the private firm.