Ravi Inder Singh, the tainted IAS officer in the home ministry, who is under joint probe by Delhi Police and intelligence agencies, wanted money and sex with foreigners for pushing security clearance for a telecom company at his ministry, a government official associated with the investigations alleged.
Singh — who spoke in a code — referred to the bribe as prasad, laddus and gur. He inquired about the prasad (offering) that the brokers would get and inquired about laddus that he would get. "He also wanted Ukranian software — a reference to sex workers, and arrangements for a room. He referred to a room as hardware,” a Delhi Police officer said.
In other conversations, Singh complained about home secretary GK Pillai playing by the book and keeping his accomplices posted about the status of the files and the remarks by intelligence agencies and other home ministry officials.
The 1994 IAS officer and the two men who were brokering the deal, however, haven't been arrested so far. Police said they were still questioning two others, a businessman from West Bengal identified as Vineet and an unnamed broker from Maharashtra.
"The involvement of such a high ranking officer is a matter of concern," UK Bansal, secretary (internal security), told reporters on Tuesday.
Home ministry sources said the Intelligence Bureau raised a red flag when it picked up information about a businessman claiming he could broker deals for security clearance from the home ministry.
There was no hint about who his contact at the ministry was. So Pillai put almost all officials dealing with security clearances under surveillance.
"We were able to identify the official from the way he spoke, and what he spoke,” a home ministry official said. Investigators also have Singh on video going to meet the broker with the security clearance order.
The official recalled how the IAS officer would often throw the rulebook at people to give everyone the impression that he was a stickler for rules. It seems he was twisting the facts to sending a message to the corporate firms that he needed to be “softened” with a bribe, the official added.