NEW DELHI: With the arrest of a serving Lieutenant Colonel of the Indian army and a middleman, the Central Bureau of Investigation claimed to have busted a transfer and posting scam at the Army headquarters in Delhi in which lakhs of rupees were paid by army officers for choice of their preferred postings.
Serving officer identified as Lt. Colonel Ranganathan Suvramani Moni, posted in the in the personnel division of the Army headquarters and Gaurav Kohli red-handed while an alleged bribe of Rs 2 lakh was exchanging hands for transfer of a Bengaluru-based army officer, according to the official sources. Later, both accused were sent to three days of CBI custody for sustained interrogation. The CBI said that they needed voice samples of the accused and their custodial interrogation was required as they were to be confronted with each other, besides some "incriminating" evidence recovered during search.
So far, the investigating agency had learnt of the illicit activities of some Army officers and laid a trap to arrest the two men.
The agency busted the racket involving senior Army officers posted at its headquarters here. They were allegedly giving choice postings for “huge illegal gratification” which ran into lakhs for a single transfer, sources said. In fact, few months before, the office of then Military Secretary was searched by the investigating agency in connection with the suspected involvement in the posting scam.
As per the FIR, registered by the federal agency, it has named Brigadier S K Grover, DDG Personnel, but his name has not been included in the list of accused. The case has been registered against Moni, Hyderabad-based army officer Purshottam, Bengaluru-based barracks and stores officer (BSO) S. Subhas and alleged middleman Gaurav Kohli. CBI case alleged that bribe was being paid through hawala channels and is also probing how Army officers were ready to pay lakhs of rupees to get a posting of their choice.
CBI claim that it is alleged that Moni entered into a criminal conspiracy with Kohli and Purshottam, an army officer posted in the engineer stores department (ESD), Kakinara, for influencing the transfer of various officers.
Purshottam allegedly contacted army officers who were either posted in different field formations or faced imminent transfer and were desirous of getting posted to their preferred locations.
FIR stated that he used to contact Kohli, who was close to senior officers in the personnel division of the army headquarters here. Kohli used these contacts to pursue transfers of army officers in lieu of huge illegal gratification.
However, army claim that Lt. Col Moni, was commissioned in the army in August 1994 and is posted with Army headquarters since August 2015 and originally belongs to Trivandrum.
“CBI has conveyed that arrest is due to personal improper practices of the officer. CBI has indicted seeking of monetary gratification by the officer. Army headquarters shall wait for complete investigation and shall cooperate in the investigation,” army sources said.