Chief minister Vasundhara Raje had prior information on the recent ACB raids against eight mining officials in the alleged bribery racket case, home minister Gulab Chand Kataria has said.
Kataria, however, evaded media queries on whether the PMO had directed the action be taken against the alleged bribery racket in Rajasthan.
“CM Vasundhara Raje and my office were aware of the entire process of raids by the ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau)...We had been receiving complaints in this regard since the last two months or so. Based on these complaints, the ACB sleuths started tapping phones and when they came to know about the deal, raids were conducted,” Kataria told reporters.
There were reports that the Rajasthan government was caught by surprise when the ACB raids took place as the directives had come straight from New Delhi. On Sunday, officers of the Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau grilled suspended principal secretary (mines) Ashok Singhvi and seven other accused in the alleged bribery racket case for the second day.
The ACB interrogated the eight accused separately to corroborate their statements, an ACB officer said ,adding that the statements are now being compared.
More people are on the radar of the bureau and action would be taken on them in due course of time, the officer said. Two political leaders, including a BJP MLA, are reported to be among the suspects. The ACB refused to disclose more details, citing sensitivity of investigation.
A team is already scanning a bunch of files seized from the Singhvi’s office. The ACB is also collecting details of property and assets of the accused.
The suspended IAS officer is being countered with facts from the files showing allotment and cancellation of mines, said an ACB officer.
The eight accused were brought to Jaipur from Udaipur where they were produced in a court on Thursday and remanded to five-day police custody.