RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh IAS officer Babu Lal Agrawal, arrested in Raipur by the CBI on Tuesday for allegedly trying to bribe officials to close a graft case against him, was remanded in police custody for five days by a Delhi court.
The 1988-batch IAS officer faces charges of offering a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore as “gratification for help” in an old corruption case, which is under CBI investigation.
The Chhattisgarh government following the arrest by CBI has suspended the officer.
Agrawal’s brother-in-law Anand Agrawal and a resident of Greater Noida Bhagwan Singh whom the tainted bureaucrat first contacted for help in the case were also arrested.
On Sunday, the premier investigation agency registered a case of graft against the IAS officer, who was the principal secretary (higher education) in Chhattisgarh government.
CBI spokesperson R K Gaur confirmed the arrest.
The officer allegedly offered bribe, to settle the old corruption case in his favour, through a hawala
operator to other public servants (possibly with the CBI).
“Agrawal and two others were brought to Delhi by flight and produced before the Patiala House court where they were sent to 5-day of police custody”, Gaur said.
The CBI team earlier had conducted simultaneous raids at his residence and other premises in Raipur, Hyderabad and Noida on last Saturday and Sunday.
After the extensive search the CBI in an issued statement claimed that an amount of Rs 45 lakh was allegedly handed over by the bureaucrat to hawala dealer at Raipur on February 11 and was to be delivered at Delhi. It was also cited that the receivers agreed to accept part of the gratification payment in the form of 2 kg of gold to be delivered by the brother-in-law of the IAS officer.
On Monday, Agrawal was grilled at the Bhilai-based CBI office for nearly three hours and later he explained his position and clarifications to the chief secretary at the state secretariat.
Agrawal was also earlier suspended by the government in 2010 for four months after income tax department raids.
The CBI had six-year ago registered a case against Agrawal accusing him of cheating (under section 420 and prevention of corruption act) and fraudulent practices.
Meanwhile, A P Singh, the first former CBI chief booked by the agency, on Tuesday claimed that the phone messages exchanged with controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi that have come under scanner are "mostly personal" and "innocuous" in nature.
The CBI named Singh along with Qureshi and others in an FIR registered last week for allegedly showing favour to the meat exporter after receiving a complaint from the Enforcement Directorate.