CBI raids bust racket selling confidential govt documents to corporates
NEW DELHI: Busting a major ring of a
well known Chartered Accountant and government servants, CBI has registered a
case of alleged sale of confidential documents related to foreign investment
policies which were passed on to major corporate groups of the country.
CBI sources said a major coordinated
search operation at various locations — including six here and two in Mumbai–
was carried out today. Several offices of Finance Ministry and Commerce
Ministry, residences of its officials and a well known Mumbai-based Chartered
Accountant were covered.
The sources said a trove of
confidential documents and Rs 60 lakh cash was allegedly recovered from the
residence of the Chartered Accountant besides large number of electronic
documents have been found on the laptop, tablets and hard disks recovered from
the residence of officials and CA.
The sources said Chartered Accountant
Khemchand Gandhi, Under Secretary in Department of Disinvestment and Grievances
Ashok Kumar Singh and Section Officer in the Department of Economic Affairs
Lala Ram Sharma have been detained by the agency.
It is alleged that the government
servants were selling documents related to Foreign Investment Policies which
are being floated in the ministries to Gandhi who in turn passed them on to big
corporates for a price.
The sources said big names in
banking, pharmaceuticals and realty business are under the scanner of the
agency which CBI officials termed as “tip of the iceberg”. All these groups
under scanner have applied for foreign investments.
The sources said agency has
registered a case of criminal conspiracy, theft under IPC and misuse of
official position against the trio.
The departments which were searched
today included Department of Economic Affairs and Department of Disinvestment
in the Finance Ministry besides Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion
in the Commerce Ministry.
The sources said suspected
beneficiaries whose names have cropped during the interrogation of Gandhi and
recovery of documents include HDFC Bank, Indusind Bank, Glenmark
Pharmaceuticals and Novalead Pharmaceuticals among others.
The comments from these companies
have been sought and are still awaited.
The sources said the racket was
active for last two years and might have sold and influenced the policy of
government regarding foreign investments in India.
“The Under Secretaries and Section
Officers of ministries are custodian of policy documents and also the first
movers of policy proposals. We suspect that they might be influencing the
policies in favour of corporates. But that is a matter of probe,” a senior CBI
The sources said the agency was
tracking the officials and the chartered accountant and today intercepted a
courier in Mumbai in which an entire confidential file was recovered.