A well-regarded Customs and DRI official who was arrested by the CBI in 2012 for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 2 lakh and an iPad, has been acquitted of all charges by a special CBI court in Chennai. The court noted that the prosecution “miserably failed” in proving the charges against Rajan, who was then serving as the additional director general of DRI.
Co-accused Murugesan, who used to be Rajan’s driver, was also found not guilty.
The acquittal order issued by CBI court judge AK Mehbub Alikhan on Friday was about a case in which Rajan allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 10 lakh and an iPad. It was the driver Murugesan who was accused of receiving the advance of bribe — Rs 2 lakh and the iPad — on March 6, 2012 from one Ubaidullah.
In its order, the CBI court said: “The cumulative analysis of the evidence shows that the contradictions that glare on the face and go to the very root of this case cannot be ignored and that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the guilt of the accused.”
The court said: “Therefore, this court is of the considered opinion that there is absolutely no material to show that there was any demand or acceptance of bribe” by Rajan or Murugesan.
Rajan’s argument before the CBI court was that “he has been targeted by the big corporates for having issued notices to them for large scale duty evasions”.
Rajan’s long stints as the customs commissioner of Chennai port and airport were marked by regular raids and seizures worth hundreds of crores. He was also known for sending notices to some of the top industrialists in India over violations worth Rs 100 to 300 crore.
He effected seizures of counterfeit currency, consignments of smuggled drugs and gold and uncovered alleged violations in the export and import of electronics and automobile products by leading firms. He was also unpopular among the officers at Chennai airport and port over certain stringent steps and actions he had taken to break an alleged nexus between smugglers and officials.