The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a former superintendent of police and a lawyer for allegedly accepting bribe from a coal merchant facing criminal cases to dilute the charges against him. The agency claimed to have seized Rs 50 lakh from the residence of J P Verma,the former SP who retired from the CBI a decade ago and was running a detective agency at Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi. Searches were also carried out in Kolkata and Ranchi where the agency claimed to have seized several documents.
It has been alleged that the former officer received Rs 2 lakh from accused Ramesh Gandhi through Milind Kumar Dey,a lawyer and member of the Bar Council of India in Jharkhand. Sources claimed that Gandhi,a Kolkata-based coal merchant,was facing charges in more than a dozen CBI cases and had sought favour from Verma in these cases.
Gandhi,who also dabbles in television production,had secured an order in November 2011 from the Calcutta High Court to quash an FIR against him. But the CBI proved before the court that Gandhi had suppressed facts and misled the court. The first case was registered on March 22,1994,on the directions of the Central Vigilance Commission,alleging that Gandhi had conspired with senior officials of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) to cause Rs 1.07 crore loss to the company.
The agency alleged that between February 1989 and December 1993,BCCL officials fraudulently included certain items in the contract for transportation of coal,to benefit Sainik Goods Careers Pvt Ltd (SGCPL),a company hired by Ramesh Gandhi. Another case was filed against Gandhi in 1995 for breaking into the office of the Assistant Director (Investigation) of Income Tax in Dhanbad on March 7,1993,and burning seized documents and files related to his group of companies.
Gandhi had also been booked by the CBI for allegedly conspiring with BCCL and adding items not included in the original tender for transporting coal to his company,thereby causing a loss of Rs 1.32 crore to the exchequer. It filed a chargesheet against Gandhi,CTCC and the then BCCL chairman and managing director,B K Prasad,in January. Another case was registered against Gandhi in 1996 for allegedly bribing senior branch manager of Vijaya Bank in Dhanbad for issuing money in excess of financial limits between 1992 and 1994.
The chargesheet in this case was filed on December 31,1999,in the court of the special judge at Dhanbad. In another CBI case against him,it has been alleged that Gandhi and four Prasar Bharati officials allegedly entered into a conspiracy to fraudulently award marketing and commercial rights to his Kolkata-based production firm for the Sunday Bengali feature film.