CBI registers corruption case against Gujarat cadre IAS officer and others

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered corruption case against a 2011-batch Gujarat cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Kankipati Rajesh, and others for allegedly receiving bribes on various counts.

The First Information Report (FIR) alleges that as the Collector of Surendranagar in Gujarat, Mr. Rajesh made several persons, firms and companies deposit “donations” into the Collector’s official account for the “Sujlam Suflam Jal Abhiyan”, a State government’s initiative for water conservation, on the promise of granting arms licences.

The IAS official had issued 271 arms licences, of which 39 were granted in spite of negative recommendations of the Superintendent of Police concerned, as alleged.

In December 2021, the agency had initiated a preliminary enquiry against Mr. Rajesh and others on the charge of serious misconduct, on a reference from the State government following receipt of several complaints about irregularities during his tenure as Collector, Surendranagar.

It was alleged that he demanded and received bribes for issuing/renewing arms licences; allotting government land parcels/plots or sanctioning revenue entries to ineligible persons; and regularising illegal possession of government land. The FIR noted that in collusion with others, he leased out reserved forest land for solar power generation without the forest department’s approval.

During the probe, the agency found that the IAS officer had allegedly demanded ₹5 lakh from one Mathurbhai Sakaria for an arms licence and ultimately settled for ₹4 lakh. While ₹3 lakh was paid to him in cash, the complainant, as directed, deposited ₹98,000 in two instalments of ₹49,000 in the account of one Surat-based company named Jeans Corner in September 2019.

Rafiq Memon, an FIR named co-accused and the owner of Jeans Corner, purportedly claimed that he had sold dress material to Mr. Sakaria, which he wanted to distribute among the staff of the Collector’s office in Surendranagar. In support of his claim, he submitted four invoices, which turned out to be forged, said the agency.

The CBI alleged that Mr. Rajesh had bought two shops located in a commercial complex in Surat for about ₹47.31 lakh, which was much below the actual market value. The two firms to which the shops were rented out never ran their businesses from there. However, they credited Rs.5.5 lakh each into the account of Mr. Rajesh, said the FIR.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 3:09:16 am |