NEW DELHI: The CBI today carried out searches at the Enforcement Directorate's Ahmedabad branch after registering a case of alleged bribery against its Joint Director investigating the IPL betting probe.
CBI sources said the agency has registered a case of alleged corruption against Joint Director J P Singh, a 2000 batch Indian Revenue Service officer of Customs and Excise wing, on the basis of a complaint received from the Directorate. They said the case has been registered under provisions of criminal conspiracy under IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against Singh and unknown officials of ED.
It is alleged that Rs 15 crore was handed over as bribe to Singh's father-in-law, S K S Somvanshi, a retired IRS officer of 1978 batch, by hawala dealers and tax consultants for giving relief and extending favours to suspects in two cases probed by ED.
The ED's Ahmedabad unit was probing two important cases--Rs 2,000 crore IPL betting scandal and Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case against alleged hawala operator Afroz Fatta in which the suspects allegedly sought favours, sources said.
After registering the cases, CBI carried out searches the ED office in Ahmedabad and residences of Singh and Additional Directors Sanjay Kumar and P S Srinivas, both ED cadre officers in Ahmedabad, and Somvanshi here in Delhi, they said. The operation, which started in the evening, is still continuing with a team of the agency reaching Surat to search the residence of Srinivas there as well.
Sources said the ED Director received multiple complaints from various quarters about the alleged demand for bribe by the senior officials of its Ahmedabad unit after which it was forwarded to CBI. The agency had kept these suspects under surveillance after receiving complaint from ED during which prima facie information about the alleged bribery was collected.
"It has been alleged that certain officers of Enforcement Directorate while investigating the cases of money laundering in betting and other such activities have allegedly demanded and accepted huge illegal gratification from the accused and suspect persons in the said cases.
"Huge bribe amount was allegedly taken by these officers as quid pro quo for various acts of omission and commission," CBI spokesperson said in a statement.