The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has chargesheeted Rakesh Kumar, a senior Indian Foreign Service official and former special secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, in a human trafficking case.
CBI had registered a case against Kumar in March last year when he was Special Secretary (Economic Relations) in the MEA. It was alleged that Kumar, during his tenure as Director General of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Kehkeshan Tyagi, programme officer of ICCR had entered into a criminal conspiracy with two others to facilitate illegal trafficking of nine persons to Germany.
The chargesheet, filed in the Patiala House court, names Kumar, a 1972-batch IFS official, Tyagi, Har Gulab Singh, owner of a Punjabi dance troupe and Shiv Kumar Sharma. Sharma had allegedly acted as a conduit and took lakhs of rupees for sending people abroad.
The agency had recently received sanction for his prosecution from the MEA. The CBI had provided the MEA with the Superintendent of Police’s report in July. However, the sanction came only after reminders were sent for expediting the decision for prosecution of Kumar. It is alleged that the suspects sent nine people to Berlin along with a dance troupe and these people disappeared once they arrived in that country. They would later file applications seeking political asylum under changed names.
Kumar, Tyagi, Singh and Sharma were chargesheeted under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of Indian Penal Code and 13(i)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act.
CBI had searched the residence of Kumar, the office and residential premises of Tyagi, houses of Sharma and Singh in Ludhiana and Chandigarh on March 29, 2006. Kumar, who was in South America, was asked to cut short his visit following the raids. He, however,
delayed his return to the country by getting himself admitted at a hospital in Munich. He was finally questioned in May last year.