The CBI has arrested a joint director with the Himachal Pradesh government along with his alleged accomplice in a Rs 5-lakh bribery case. Tilak Raj Sharma, joint director, Department of Industries in Himachal Pradesh, and Ashok Rana, owner of a private factory in Baddi, were arrested in Chandigarh Monday night for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from a chartered accountant, the complainant in the case.
The accused were allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from the complainant for grant of 15 per cent central government subsidy which is given to pharmaceutical companies. The complainant, Chander Shekhar, a CA by profession, was representing a pharmaceutical company M/s Medicef Pharma, Baddi, and dealing with the Department of Industries for getting the subsidy.
According to the FIR, Chander Shekhar handed over Rs 5 lakh as first installment to Sharma and Rana in a vehicle in the parking lot of Sector 8 around 9 pm when the CBI team lying in wait arrested the duo. The FIR registered under Section 120-B of Indian Penal Code (criminal conspiracy) and Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, says the “bribe amount was to be handed over to Shri Raghuvanshi, PS to CM at Delhi.”
Inquiries made at Himachal Pradesh’s CMO revealed that Raghuvanshi’s full name is PS Raghuvanshi and he is currently posted as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the CM in New Delhi. “We are investigating the reference and role of Raghuvanshi. Tilak Raj Sharma had told the complainant that the money was meant for Raghuvanshi. We are probing it. Both Sharma and Rana were produced in the CBI court and taken into custody for further interrogation. The accused shall be produced in the court Thursday,” a senior CBI officer said.
Sharma lives in a government quarter allotted to his wife who is also an employee of the Chandigarh Administration. The CBI team raided his house and recovered Rs 38,960 in cash, a few US dollars and euros, 170 gram of gold, 350 gram silver and papers pertaining to LIC policies, a few bank lockers and the lockers’ keys. Sources said Rana, who runs a small industry named M/s Rana Packaging in Baddi, worked as a frontman for Tilak Raj Sharma.
Meanwhile, the Department of Industries in Himachal has sent a notice against M/s Medicef Pharma seeking to know if norms were followed during its expansion. The complainant, Chander Shekhar, said, “It was a tactic of officials of Department of Industries of Himachal to harass the owners of different industries with issuing several notices against them. Claiming 15 per cent government subsidy for the purchasing of new machinery is our right provided by the Central government.”