The CBI has registered a case against a senior Chhattisgarh bureaucrat for allegedly trying to “settle” his old corruption cases, being probed by the agency, by paying bribes through hawala operators.
Chattisgarh government’s principal secretary, higher education, BL Agarwal allegedly agreed to pay Rs 1.5 crore to scuttle CBI probes into two cases registered against him since 2010.
One Hyderabad-base Syed Burhanuddin, alias OP Singh, who claimed to be a PMO official, offered to help Agarwal. The CBI said Burhanuddin is a “private person” and not a PMO staffer.
In one of the cases, the investigating agency has already filed a chargesheet against the 1988-batch IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre.
The CBI alleged that to get a “favourable probe result”, the bureaucrat got in touch with one Bhagwan Singh, who lives in the Black Cat Enclave of the NSG housing society in Greater Noida.
Singh in turn introduced Agarwal to Burhanuddin.
On February 11, Agarwal, Burhanuddin and Bhagwan Singh met in Delhi, according to the CBI’s FIR. In the meeting Agarwal agreed to pay Rs 1.5 crore to get his case transferred to the Economic Offence Wing of the Chhattisgarh government.
Following the ‘deal’, the IAS officer paid more than Rs 45 lakh between 11 and 16 February to two contacts of Bhagwan and Burhanuddin in Raipur. The money was meant to be sent to Delhi through hawala route.
According to the CBI FIR, after paying the amount in cash, Agrawal promised to pay rest of the amount in the form of two kilogram gold.
“It was also alleged that the receivers agreed to accept part gratification payment in the form of two kg of gold to be delivered by brother-in-law of the said public servant to the contact of Hyderabad-based private person at Raipur,” the CBI said in its formal statement.
During investigation, searches were conducted at the premises of accused persons and hawala operators at Raipur, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Greater Noida.
The CBI said it recovered two-kg gold during the searches and also around Rs. 20 lakh in cash which was earlier delivered to Bhagwan Singh.