NDA job scam Court cancels A K Singhs anticipatory bail,says CBI proof seems to have substance
The CBI-Anti-Corruption Bureau on Monday arrested Colonel Anil Kumar Singh,the presiding officer for conducting exams for civil employees for various posts and physical training officer (PTO) in the National Defence Academy (NDA),after CBI special court judge D R Mahajan cancelled his anticipatory bail.
The CBI,while opposing his bail plea,told the court that it had intercepted telephonic conversations between the officers arrested in connection with the scam. The CBI had recorded the conversations between the Colonel Singh and seven other accused about bribe amounts to be collected from certain candidates. While over 50 coversations and transcripts have been collected,the accused also used satellite phones to avoid being traced, senior public prosecutor (CBI) Ijaz Khan told the court.
He (Khan) has shown me one such transcript. There appears to be prima facie involvement of the applicant (Singh) in the commission of this crime, special judge D R Mahajan observed.
Singh was the chairman of the Board of Examinations,consisting of four members,for conducting examinations. The standard operating procedure (SOP) mandates that after writing the examination,the answersheets must be sealed under signatures of all board members. Singh kept all the answersheets with him in an unsealed condition. It was easy for him to make changes in them, the court said while cancelling his bail.
The court further stated that on certain answer sheets,it appeared that some of the answers for objective type questions marked by the candidates were cancelled with a different ink. As the applicant (Singh) was the custodian of the answersheets,there is every possibility that he must have done the changes. The CBIs contention that Singh made the changes to pass the candidates from whom the bribe was received seems have substance, the court said.
The CBI also told the court that the main accused Colonel Kulbir Singh had admitted to handing over the bribe amount of Rs 52 lakh in cash to Col A K Singh.
On June 28,Singh had applied for interim anticipatory bail,which was granted by the court the same day. On June 30,the CBI investigating officer Rajpal Singh filed an application for cancellation of the interim anticipatory bail on the ground that Col Singh was not attending the CBI office for interrogation.
Objecting to this application,Col Singhs lawyer S K Jain argued that there was no precise case made by the CBI against Singh. Also,nothing incriminating was found by them when they searched his house and office, Jain said. The court,however,refused to consider this argument.
The CBI-ACB will produce Col Singh before the CBI court on Tuesday to seek his custody.
Meanwhile,the six accused arrested on June 24 were also produced before the court as their CBI custody ended on Monday. Colonel Kulbir Singh,Balkishan Kanojia,Vishnu Prasad Sharma and Ramesh Gaikwad were remanded in CBI custody till Thursday while Manoj Shitkal and Dattatray Shitkal were sent to judicial custody for 14 days. The seventh accused,establishment department officer Suhas Waghmare,had already been remanded in judicial custody.
NDA commandant opposed Singhs appointment
It is learnt that the National Defence Academy (NDA) commandant Lt Gen Jatinder Singh had objected to the appointment of Colonel A K Singh as the Physical Training Officer (PTO) of the Academy owing to his not- so- clean past during his previous appointment as the deputy commandant of a training establishment.
Col Singh,who was posted in the academy last year,was reprimanded by the Army Commander during his previous appointment,NDA sources said.
In fact,it is learnt that the earlier PTO of the NDA,who was to be relieved by Col Singh,had to hand over the responsibilities to the APTO. Singh was involved in a case for which a Court of Inquiry (CoI) had to be set up. He was reprimanded along with a few other officers. As a result,he could not relieve the earlier PTO of NDA on time, said sources associated with the case.
The Military Secretary (MS) Branch of the Army,which looks after promotions and postings,allegedly told the NDA big bosses to accept the appointment of Col Singh as the PTO. The system needs a revamp. There has to be a way by which only quality officers with the highest level of integrity and character are appointed at NDA, said an officer.