New Delhi: The CBI arrested Gujarat-cadre IAS officer K Rajesh on Wednesday for alleged bribery in sanctioning weapon licences to ineligible people, officials said. Rajesh, a 2011-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was called to the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) Ahmedabad office for questioning, but he allegedly did not cooperate and was taken into custody, they added.
It is alleged that when he was the collector of Surendranagar district, Rajesh had taken bribes in land deals and for sanctioning weapon licences to ineligible people, the officials said.
In May, the agency had arrested Mohammad Rafiq Menon, a middleman who allegedly worked as a conduit for the officer.
In addition to granting arms licences to ineligible people, it is also alleged that Rajesh was taking bribes for the allotment of government land and regularisation of encroached government land in the name of ineligible beneficiaries.
“A preliminary enquiry was earlier registered on a request of the Gujarat government in the matter. The instant case is the outcome of the PE,” the CBI had said after the registration of the case.
The preliminary enquiry showed that the officer had allegedly asked a gun licence seeker to deposit a bribe amount in the account of a shop run by Menon.
Menon told CBI officials during the enquiry that the person had paid the amount for distributing uniforms among the collectorate employees, the FIR alleged, adding that he had produced four invoices to buttress his alibi.
During the enquiry, it emerged that invoices were forged ln his computer and the original ones issued in other names were also recovered from his Google drive, the agency alleged.
“…it is also revealed that K Rajesh issued as many as 271 arms licences, out of which 39 were issued or granted by him in spite of a negative recommendation from the SP concerned, which lends credence to the versions of the complainants alleging payment of bribe to K Rajesh for obtaining arm licences,” the FIR said.
The agency also alleged that Rajesh received donations in the official account of the collector and district election officer, Surendranagar towards the “Sujlam Suflam Jal Abhiyan”, a Gujarat government initiative for water conservation.
“The complainants have alleged that on the directions of K Rajesh, they had deposited money in this account. The complainants have claimed that they would not have made donations had K Rajesh not promised them to grant arms licences in lieu of the same. These claims too raise a needle of suspicion on the conduct of K Rajesh,” the FIR said.
Rajesh purchased two shops in a newly-built commercial complex, Silver Business Point, at Utran in Surat for over Rs 47.3 lakh, which is much below the actual market value.
“In addition to this, the two firms to whom the shops were given on rent never ran their business but credited Rs 5.5 lakh each into the account of K Rajesh, which appears to be prima facie suspicious. Therefore, there are strong reasons to believe that K Rajesh abused his official position as a public servant in purchasing the above-mentioned shops in Surat during year 2018, when he was holding the post of DDO, Surat,” the CBI FIR alleged.
After registering the case, the CBI had conducted searches at the premises of the accused in Gandhinagar and Surat (both in Gujarat) and Rajahmundry (in Andhra Pradesh), which led to the recovery of incriminating documentary and digital evidence, the agency had said.
This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.
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