The Rajasthan government has failed to act against 23 of its officers named in a gunrunning racket even though the defence ministry has initiated action against senior army officers in the case.
Retired and serving army officers, including two major generals and two brigadiers, are facing action for selling prohibited weapons and imported arms to criminals.
On September 5, 2007, the Hindustan Times wrote how army officers were selling their weapons in the grey market in the border districts of the desert state with the help of local officials and arms dealers. Three days later army ordered a court of inquiry.
It acted against its officers on the basis of a list of names provided by the Sriganganagar district collector. Names of 23 Rajasthan officials cropped up during the investigation.
The state government, however, is yet to grant sanction to prosecute its officers, including two former Sriganganagar additional district magistrates, an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by Sriganganagar Additional Superintendent of Police Rajan Dushyant has said.
Dushyant is the officer in-charge of the case.
The officials allegedly misused their positions to alter bore, address and permission for additional weapon without police verification.
The affidavit is in response to a public interest petition filed in 2007 by advocate Arvind Kumar Sharma. Seeking a CBI probe, he alleged that prohibited/non-service pattern bore weapons obtained from army personnel through the Central Ordnance Depot, Jabalpur were being sold to criminals.
Forty-one army officers, a junior commissioned officer and four retired army officers were facing action, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Rajya Sabha on December 3.
In one of the seven cases, original record is “not available” after it was handed over to Special and Economic Offence, CID CB on the directions of “higher officials”.