The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday arrested a 2011-batch Gujarat cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official, Kankipati Rajesh, in an alleged corruption case.
“The accused official was summoned for questioning at the agency’s Ahmedabad office in Gujarat. He was arrested on Wednesday evening as he was not cooperating in the investigation,” said a CBI source.
On a reference from the State government, in December 2021, the CBI had initiated a preliminary enquiry against Mr. Rajesh and others, on the charge of serious misconduct.
In May, it registered the case alleging that as the Collector of Surendranagar (Gujarat), Mr. Rajesh made several individuals, firms and companies deposit “donations” into the Collector’s official account for the “Sujlam Suflam Jal Abhiyan”, on the promise of giving arms licences. It was a State government’s campaign for water conservation.
The accused official had granted 271 arms licences, of which 39 were issued despite the negative recommendations from the Superintendent of Police concerned.
As alleged, he demanded and received bribes for issuing/renewing arms licences; for allotting government land parcels/plots or sanctioning revenue entries to ineligible persons; and regularising illegal possession of government land.
The FIR alleged that in connivance with others, the official leased out reserved forest land for solar power generation without the forest department’s approval.
The CBI also alleged that Mr. Rajesh had bought two shops in a Surat commercial complex for about ₹47.31 lakh, which was much below the then market rate. The two companies to which the shops had been rented out never ran their businesses from those premises, but they deposited ₹5.50 lakh each into the account of Mr. Rajesh, the FIR said.