The CBI has appointed Vidhi Kumar Birdi, a 2003 batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer, as the investigation officer in the coal block allocation probe in place of superintendent of police Vivek Dutt who was arrested by the agency itself on the allegation seeking a bribe from a private person.
Dutt is CBI cadre officer who was recruited in the agency as a deputy superintendent of police.
"Dutt's replacement Birdi was involved in the coal block allocation probe. He joined the CBI in August 2012. He has long tenure ahead in the agency," said a source.
The CBI had arrested Dutt along with the agency's inspector Rajesh Karnatak on May 17 for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 7 lakh from an Alwar-based businessman Dinesh Chand Gupta to settle his land dispute. The agency has also arrested Gupta and alleged middleman Rajesh Pachisia.
Dutt has claimed innocence and alleged his arrest is part of a conspiracy to keep him out of the coal scam probe.
But the agency sources say they have enough prove to nail Dutt, who is a CBI cadre officer, in the case.
"We recovered Rs. 92000 in cash from his office and around half a dozen mobile phones. He will have to explain the recoveries. We suspect that under Dutt's influence the land dispute of Dinesh Kumar Gupta was settled for Rs. 1.1 crore instead of Rs. 1.35 crore as was planned earlier and the bribe was being asked for getting the amount reduced," said an investigator.
According to sources, Dutt is married into a wealthy family and had a bright career ahead. "His arrest has been very shocking. Though, he was not arrested while receiving money but we have enough telephone intercepts to prove the charges against him," said the investigator.