A LOCAL COURT here on Sunday sent senior GUJCOT officer Manoj Brahmbhatt to 11-day police remand after the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) of Rajkot City police arrested him from his Ahmedabad residence on Saturday evening in connection with the burning of jute sacks for groundnut, worth crore of rupees.
According to the FIR, Brahmbhatt and others, including two more GUJCOT officials, had indulged in malpractices in purchase of 25 lakh jute bags worth Rs 19 crore for GUJCOT on behalf of NAFED during the last Kharif and Rabi seasons. The bags were stored at two sheds in Rajkot agriculture produce market committee (APMC). However, the stock caught fire on March 13 this year. The FIR said that Brahmbhatt had taken Rs 31 lakh as kickbacks from three private firms that had secured orders of supplying jute bags to GUJCOT. The FIR claimed that the actual stock that caught fire was not 25 lakh bags but less than that and there was a mismatch in records of delivery dates of bags and physical presence of trucks which had transported these bags to the Rajkot yard.
Brahmbhatt and others have been booked for criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery and for causing damage to public property. “We submitted to the Ahmedabad court that we need the custody of Brahmbhatt to trace the money that he had received as kickback. We also need his custody to trace one M K Tully of Delhi. Brahmbhatt had paid Tully Rs 50 lakh to have GUJCOT insurance claim for damage to jute bags settled positively,” DCB Inspector Hitesh Gadhvi, who is investigating the case said.