The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered another case of central government flats being illegally rented out to private parties.
The CBI on Friday conducted searches on five Class 1 central government officials for illegally giving on rent the servant’s quarters of the plush three-bedroom government flats allotted to them in Ghatkopar (West).
No arrests have been made so far.
After receiving a tip-off, the CBI had registered a case on March 31 under criminal misconduct by the public servant. On Friday, the officials conducted searches at the residences of Deputy Controller, Patent Office, MA Hafeez; Deputy Director General, Ministry of Shipping, JS Chauhan; Deputy Controller of Accounts, Ministry of Commerce, Arun Singhal; Technical Officer, Naval Dockyard, SM Tripathi; and Assistant Agricultural Marketing Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture CM Tambhane.
A senior CBI official said that the five officials had illegally rented out the servant’s quarters attached to their flats for Rs 3,000 per month since January 2007.
The servant’s quarter comprises one room with an attached toilet.
While searching Hafeez’s residence, the CBI also found Rs 1 lakh in cash, Rs 30 lakh in three bank accounts, Rs 3 lakh worth fixed deposits, gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs 1.88 lakh and documents of a flat in Chennai and three plots in Andhra Pradesh.
The CBI had registered the first case on February 14 when they had arrested two officials from the Directorate of Estates, which is responsible for the administration and management of the office buildings and residential accommodations of central government employees.
The two officials had been illegally sub-letting government accommodations to private parties.
During the probe, the CBI had found that of the 8,500 government accommodations in Mumbai, some had been illegally rented out at Wadala, Antop Hill, Ghatkopar and Belapur.
The CBI verified 6,300 flats and found that 147 flats had been rented out to private parties and in 44 others a part of the flat was given on rent at Antop Hill and Belapur.
The CBI officials also found that six shops in Belapur illegally rented out.
The CBI estimates the racket to be worth over Rs 1 crore.