Thursday, December 3, 2020

India: Anti-graft official faces allegation of receiving bribes to bury corruption case

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The CBI has registered a case against a former official of the Enforcement Directorate for allegedly taking a bribe on the promise of burying a case of foreign exchange violation.

The CBI has alleged in its first information report that Gurnam Singh, while serving as the deputy director of the Enforcement Directorate’s Chandigarh branch, had taken around Rs 2.5 lakh as bribe from the family of one Disha Gupta in January 2017. According to the case registered against her by the Chandigarh police on a complaint by Health Bio Tech Limited in 2015, Disha Gupta had misappropriated company funds to the tune of Rs 1.10 crore.

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The Enforcement Directorate had then initiated proceedings under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, entrusting the case to Gurnam Singh. The senior official directed Disha Gupta and her parents – Vinod Gupta and Suman Gupta – to appear before him on November 8, 2016.

The CBI alleges that when Disha Gupta and her parents met Gurnam Singh, he demanded a bribe of Rs 2.5 lakh in return for “settling” the case. Vinod Gupta transferred the amount to the account of Gurnam Singh’s mother in two instalments on January 7, 2017, and January 10, 2017.

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Upon the completion of his tenure, Gurnam Singh was sent back to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory – his parent cadre under the Ministry of Home Affairs – on January 18, 2017. The CBI later received a complaint against him, following which it approached the central government for permission to initiate a probe against the official.

The Ministry of Home Affairs sanctioned the probe on December 9, 2019, following which the CBI registered the complaint.

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