Surat hawala racket, IPL betting cases: Centre yet to clear Gujarat officer’s prosecution over bribes allegedly taken

By: | Published: November 20, 2017 11:11 AM

The CBI has sought prosecution of the officer, JP Singh seven months ago. He is a 'Group A' IRS officer and is alleged to have exorted money from traders in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

 

CBI GujaratSurat hawala racket, IPL betting cases: Centre yet to clear Gujarat officer’s prosecution over bribes allegedly taken

Centre is yet to grant a request of CBI to prosecute an Enforcement Directorate officer from Gujarat, who is alleged to have collected huge bribe from bookies and hawala operators for not arresting them during the investigation into Surat hawala racket case and IPL betting case. The CBI has sought prosecution of the officer, JP Singh seven months ago. He is a ‘Group A’ IRS officer and is alleged to have exorted money from traders in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. In February, Singh was arrested by CBI after some businessmen from Gujarat wrote a petition to Prime Minister’s Office. The case was being investigated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by special director Rakesh Asthana.

 

According to sources before filing the charge sheet in the case, the CBI had sought prosecution sanction in April this year. While the CBI later filed the charge sheet without getting sanction, Singh was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court. A top official of the agency said that if the sanction to prosecute Singh is not given then the charges cannot be framed against him and other accused in the case will also gain from this. The CBI official also said that, because Singh is an IRS officer, the Ministry of Finance has to give its clearance. But despite reminders sent by the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), the Finance Ministry has not given sanction. As per The Indian Express, the CBI did not respond to an e-mail sent by them in this regard. According to Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, “no court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under Sections 7, 10, 11, 13 and 15 alleged to have been committed by a public servant, except with the previous sanction”.
A deadline of three months for the competent authorities to take a decision on granting prosecution sanction had been set by CVC. Singh, who was posted as joint director of ED in Ahmedabad, his then assistant director Sanjay Kumar and some other officials are alleged to have collected bribe from bookies and hawala operators in the course of their investigation. CBI, bookie Manoj Jain paid Rs 2.75 crore to two other bookies, Bimal Agarwal and Sonu Jalan, who are alleged to have acted as Singh’s “conduits”. Jain’s name had surfaced during the probe into the IPL betting case.

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