Madhya Pradesh: New skeletons tumble out of bank locker case

  • Shahroz Afridi Shahroz Afridi Shahroz Afridi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2015 23:29 IST

The controversy surrounding a woman IAS officer’s attempts to open a dead man’s locker at the Arera branch of Canara Bank has become murkier, with police discovering that the deceased had allegedly made a considerable sum of money as a supplier of the Khadi & Village Industries Board when the accused, Shikha Dubey, was its managing director.

The deceased businessman, Vijay Singhal, was also granted control over three emporiums of the board during this period.

Sources said that Singhal was murdered in Gwalior on December 26, 2014. The IAS officer was the MD of the Khadi Board from August 6, 2010, to February 19, 2014.

"Vijay Singhal was in business with the Khadi Board. I remember an emporium at Neemuch that was under his control," said Sudha Choudhary, a managing director of the board.

Singhal supplied gauge and bandages worth `9.5 crore to various hospitals and medical colleges across the state on behalf of the board, Choudhary added.

Khadi Board sources, however, said that Singhal also operated two other khadi board emporiums at Rewa and Ujjain under the names of Rajkumar Goswami and Praful Kumar Shinde respectively.

Meanwhile, police recorded the statement of Transparency International member Ajay Dubey – who had lodged the complaint in the case – on Tuesday night.

"I have requested the police to take action against the officer under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Singhal was a major supplier on behalf of the MP Khadi Board at the time when Shikha Dubey was its managing director," the NGO activist said.

Demanding an investigation into the matter, he said that the police should examine the IAS officer's sources of income as well as her assets.

Shikha and her husband, AK Dubey, had visited Canara Bank's Arera Colony branch in mid-March, seeking access to Singhal’s locker on the basis of an affidavit.

The affidavit described Singhal as a relative, and stated that they were authorised to access the locker in his absence. However, bank manager Vipul Kumar Nath became suspicious and escalated the matter.

Later, Ajay Dubey lodged a complaint with the Habibganj police station, expressing his suspicions that the locker held 'benami' assets of the IAS officer and her husband –a retired principal chief conservator of forests.

Shikha Dubey was unavailable for comment.

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