A special court today sent a Lieutenant Colonel and an alleged middleman to judicial custody till June 17 in connection with a transfer racket at the Army headquarters here in which officers allegedly paid lakhs of rupees to manipulate their postings. Special CBI Judge Naresh Kumar Malhotra sent Lt Col Ranganathan Suvramani Moni, posted to the personnel division of the Army, and Gaurav Kohli to custody after the Central Bureau of Investigation submitted they were not required for further custodial interrogation. The two were produced before the court after the expiry of their three-day CBI custody. Kohli, meanwhile, moved a bail plea submitting that since he was not required for a further probe, he should be released on bail. The court will hear the application on June 9.
During the proceedings, Public prosecutor Amit Kumar told the court the CBI had taken the voice samples of the two and conducted searches at the premises of some others in relation to the case. According to the CBI, an FIR was registered against Moni, a Hyderabad-based Army officer identified only as Purshottam, Bengaluru-based barracks and stores officer (BSO) S Subhas and Kohli for various offences including criminal conspiracy and corruption. The bribe was paid through hawala channels, the CBI said in its FIR. It alleged Moni entered into a criminal conspiracy with Kohli and Purshottam, posted to the engineer stores department, for influencing the transfer of various officers.
Purshottam allegedly contacted army officers who were either posted to different field formations or faced a transfer and wanted to be posted to a preferred location. He used to contact Kohli, who was allegedly close to senior officers in the personnel division of the Army headquarters here, and used these contacts on the transfers of Army officers for money, the FIR said. It claimed Purshottam requested Kohli to pursue the posting of one D S R K Reddy and Subhas in exchange for a bribe. Both wanted to be posted from Bengaluru to Secunderabad or Visakhapatnam. Moni assured Subhas that he would get him transferred through senior officers in the Army headquarters against payment, it claimed. Subhas allegedly delivered Rs 5 lakh as bribe to Kohli through hawala operators.