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Two home ministry officials arrested on graft charges

By From Our Delhi Bureau
Last updated on: April 28, 2010 20:18 IST
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A top bureaucrat in the home ministry was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in New Delhi on Wednesday for taking a bribe of Rs 50 lakh from a businessman.

O Ravi, 54, is a 1983-batch Indian Administrative Service official from the Gujarat cadre. He is currently serving as a joint secretary in the department of disaster management and policy, and has been on central deputation since February 2007.

The CBI carried out a raid at Ravi's residence today morning and arrested him.

According to CBI sources, Ravi had taken a bribe from Alok Khimani, a businessman based in Daman and Diu.

He had demanded the bribe to use his influence on the department of personnel to get the  administrator of the union territory transferred. Khimani reportedly wanted the administrator transferred as the latter had slapped charges on him for evading excise duty.

PTI adds: A case under different sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against Ravi and two excise inspectors -- Ramesh Mahyavanshi and Vijay Halpati -- and sub-inspector Suresh Dhodi, according to the CBI.


Sources said the home ministry has asked the department of personnel and training to suspend Ravi. The suspension orders are likely to be issued soon.


The directors of six distilleries named Khemani, Royal, Jupiter, Krimpy, Silver Star and Dharmesh and some unknown persons were also booked for alleged fraud.


"It has been alleged that in order to evade excise duty and VAT, the distilleries of Daman, in connivance with officials of the excise department, resorted to under-reporting of production by preparing fake documents," the spokesman said. CBI has conducted searches at 36 places at Daman, Mumbai and New Delhi.


In the second incident, the CBI conducted searches at the residential and office premises of another home ministry official and a private party, in connection with a graft case in the purchase of bullet-proof jackets for paramilitary forces, after registering a case against him. CBI booked the director-level official for allegedly accepting a bribe in the purchase of bullet-proof jackets.


The case was registered in April against R S Sharm, a Indian Revenue Officer of the 1984 batch, who allegedly developed a 'nexus' with some private firms involved in the supply of 59,000 bullet-proof jackets for paramilitary forces, a CBI statement said.


"A home ministry officer developed a nexus with certain private firms supplying security equipment such as armoured panels, bullet-proof jackets, helmets, shields etc, for granting undue favours to such firms," said Harsh Bahl, official spokesperson of the agency.


The official established an 'unauthorised' contact with the private firm and has been demanding and accepting illegal gratification in lieu of services and favours shown, he said.


"Searches are being conducted at residential and official premises of the accused officer and residential and factory premises of the owner of the private firm," he said.

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