The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday night registered a case against top Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials here on charges of corruption, abuse of official power and criminal conspiracy.

The FCIs General Manager (Tamil Nadu Region) T. Jayakumar (56), Deputy General Manager R. Durairaj and six Area Managers who had come from across the State were named as accused after a day-long operation at the Regional Office in Nungambakkam.

According to a source in the agency, a special team of the CBIs Anti-Corruption Branch was formed to investigate a specific input that the Area Managers were in the habit of giving bribe to the GM and DGM at monthly review meetings.

The team raided a conference hall where a review meeting was held on Friday. Knowing that CBI officials had entered the office premises, Jayakumar handed over Rs. 1. 05 lakh cash kept in different envelopes to his Personal Assistant for safe custody, the source said.

On interrogation, the Area Managers Vellimalayan (Coimbatore), Jagannathan (Tuticorin), Soundiram (Vellore), Panneerselvam (Thanjavur), Chandra Mohan Das (Cuddalore) and Kumar (Chennai) admitted to having paid regular illegal gratification to the General Manager and Deputy General Manager during monthly review meeting to ensure smooth running of their offices and avoid frequent transfer/harassment, the source added.

Besides seizing the alleged bribe money of Rs. 1.05 lakh, investigators also recovered Rs. 49,000 kept in different covers from the possession of Durairaj. A case under Section 7 (public servant taking gratification), 12 (abetment of offence), 13 (1) (d) (abuse of official power) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and Section 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) of IPC was registered against the GM, DGM and six Area Managers.

Considering the health condition of Jayakumar and Durairaj, arrest proceedings were not initiated against them. A medical officer was called to examine their healthbased on his advice, we did not arrest the accused, a CBI official told The Hindu.

During searches conducted at the residential premises of the GM and DGM in Chennai and Bangalore documents pertaining to property worth about a few crores were seized, the official said.

Keywords: FCICBIAnti-corruption squad