The I-T department has submitted names of four senior IAS officers and one IFS officer who have allegedly amassed wealth much beyond their known sources of income, to the finance ministry.
According to a ministry report based on these findings, the five officers - Arvind Joshi, Tinoo Joshi, Rajesh Rajora, BL Agarwal and RK Sinha - have amassed wealth to the tune of Rs491 crore. This figure does not include the value of real estate that these officers possess.
A ministry official said between 2008 and 2010, raids were conducted on these five. The department seized assets worth Rs17.75 crore against tax evasion on their undisclosed assets. They had allegedly amassed huge cash, several plots, houses, large number of bank accounts and investments in benami properties worth crores.
"Bhopal-based Joshis created a record of sorts by being the richest IAS officers on I-T radar," the official said. "There is no parallel in the history of search operations on civil servants, as they were found possessing unexplained assets worth R360 crore."
While Arvind Joshi was principal secretary (water resources), his wife Tinoo was heading the women and child development department in Bhopal.
"There are cases in various fora and since subjudice, I would restrain from making any comment," said Arvind Joshi.
"Agarwal opened 220 bank accounts in the name of his servants, gardener, cobbler, rickshaw-puller, pan-shop owner etc and deposited his illegal money," the report states.
"Is it a crime to keep tax paid money at home? I've filed a
writ at Bilaspur high court and hence won't say anything further," said Agarwal, who has recently been reinstated by state government.
The raid on Rajora, health commissioner in Bhopal in 2008, assessed an undisclosed income of Rs5.46 crore from various sources. "I've challenged I-T department's action, which was based on suspicion, in Jabalpur high court," said Rajora, who's under suspension.
Of the five, Sinha is the sole non-IAS officer. As an Indian Forest Service officer of Jharkhand, Sinha was member secretary, State Pollution Control Board, Ranchi and was suspended when he was raided and assets worth Rs17.75 crore were seized.
Despite repeated attempts, Sinha could not be contacted.
"Like the former UP chief secretary Neera Yadav, who was sentenced to jail on corruption charges, the MP government is also awaiting a word from the Centre to act against these bureaucrats," said a senior MP bureaucrat.