The Central Bureau of Investigation carried out raids at seven sites in six cities, after an FIR was registered against certain officials of the agriculture ministry and an insecticides company.
The complaint alleges accounts have been fudged and an officer was paid a bribe amounting to at least $32,000. It is suspected that over $200,000 was paid in bribes by the company for getting some of its products cleared between 1996 and 2001.
Raids were carried out on the houses and offices of the accused in Faridabad, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Bharuch and Ghaziabad. The CBI has registered a case naming five persons. These include Dr R. L. Rajak, a retired official of the directorate of plant protection, quarantine and storage in the agriculture ministry and managing director of DE Nocil Crop Protection Limited (now DOW Agro Sciences), an Indian subsidiary of a US-based chemical firm.
Product formulators Agro Pack and Crop Health Products have also been named.
Three consultants of DE Nocil Crop Protection Ltd — L Ramakrishnan, P Natarajan and Banerjee were booked for alleged bribery, criminal misconduct, fudging of accounts and criminal conspiracy.
Rajak was a key member of the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee that cleared the three products of the insecticide company after allegedly receiving a bribe.