A day after the arrest of Principal Secretary (Mines) Ashok Singhvi, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) alleged on Thursday that the Rs 2.5 crore bribe reportedly offered by mining baron Sher Khan to officials of the Rajasthan mines department had been traced to Khan’s bank account.
The ACB alleged that there was a clear paper trail. “The fact that the money came from Sher Khan’s account is clinching evidence for us,” IG Dinesh M N told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, the government today suspended Singhvi, Additional Director Pankaj Gehlot and Senior Mining Engineer P R Ameta. Besides the trio, the others who have been arrested in the bribery case are alleged middleman Sanjay Sethi, Sher Khan, his CA Shyam Singhvi, another employee Rashid Khan and Sethi’s accomplice Dharmendra alias Chintu.
All the eight were produced before the court which sent them to police custody for five days.
Gehlot and Shyam Singhvi were reportedly nabbed by the ACB with the Rs 2.5 crore bribe money at the latter’s office in Udaipur on Wednesday. Rashid Khan and Ameta were caught in another raid in Bhilwara.
Sher Khan had reportedly given the bribe for resuming operations of some mines he owned in Chittorgarh. Singhvi, who is alleged to have masterminded the deal, was arrested from his Jaipur residence late in the night.
The ACB team that raided Singhvi’s residence reportedly recovered 35 kg silver, 250 grams gold and Rs 2.5 lakh in cash. The team also found 177 bottles of imported liquor, estimated to be worth over Rs 6 lakh.
On the ACB’s report, the Ashok Nagar police station booked Singhvi separately under the Excise Act.
The raid on Ameta’s residence reportedly revealed Rs 43 lakh in 14 bank accounts, 900 grams gold, 5 kg silver and documents for five immovable properties.
From Gehlot’s house, the ACB reportedly recovered Rs 3.35 lakh in cash, documents of three immovable properties, silver and gold.