Acting on a complaint lodged by a businessman more than two months ago, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) has lodged a FIR in a case of alleged corruption, naming the former Director General of Police and his then Security Officer.
The FIR, registered in Andaman on Monday under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 385 of the Indian Penal Code, names Rajesh Malik, former DGP, and his then SO, Ashok Choubey. Malik is currently posted in Delhi as Special Commissioner of Police (General Administration) while Choubey is a Radio Operator in North Andaman.
Confirming the FIR against Malik and Choubey, Deputy SP (ACU) B Saigal told The Indian Express that the complainant was Abdul Salam, a businessman who alleged that Choubey had sought a bribe from him in the name of the then DGP. Salam lodged a complaint on July 21. Malik had already been transferred to Delhi by then. Malik could not be reached for comment. A person who answered his phone said Malik was “busy at the moment”. Text messages sent to him remained unanswered. Choubey declined to comment.
T N Mohan, Special Commissioner (Vigilance) in Delhi Police, said, “While the case against Mr Malik and his PA has been registered and is being investigated, it is fair on my part to caution that the antecedents of the complainant are doubtful. Salam is a dismissed inspector of Andaman and Nicobar police, who was convicted for colluding in a CBSE paper leak and spent two years in jail.” When asked about his conviction, Salam said, “If a crime happens against me, will no agency investigate? I am an Indian citizen, I have every right to lodge the case.”
Saigal said that Salam has “submitted a CD of a conversation which he claimed was between him and Choubey”. He added that the FIR was lodged after the Lt Governor perused evidence gathered during the preliminary investigation and gave the go-ahead.
According to the FIR, Salam, Managing Director of Mansha Hospitality and Services Pvt Ltd, alleged that Choubey demanded “illegal gratification of Rs 15 lakh” in July 2016 to close an inquiry into an anonymous complaint against Salam that the police had received. Attached to the FIR is a letter that Salam wrote to the Chief Vigilance Officer of A&N Administration in which he claimed that Choubey “assured me that he would talk to the DGP to close the complaint”. He alleged that Choubey later told him that the DGP had demanded Rs 15 lakh.
Asked if the Delhi Police was aware of the FIR against Malik, its chief spokesperson Dependra Pathak, also a Special Commissioner of Police, said: “We don’t have any locus standi to comment on this issue.”