CBI busts transfer racket at Army HQ, arrests two
The CBI on Saturday said that it has exposed a major racket at the Army headquarters with the arrest of a Lt Colonel and a middleman who were alleged to be using their contacts in the force to manipulate posting of officers in exchange for bribe. Lt Col Ranganathan Suvramani Moni in the personnel division of the Army and middleman Gaurav Kohli were arrested while an alleged bribe of Rs two lakh was changing hands for the transfer of a Bengaluru-based officer, CBI sources said.
"Searches were conducted at the premises, including the residence of arrested accused and others in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram which led to recovery of cash over 10 lakh (approximately) and incriminating documents and other articles," CBI Spokesperson R K Gaur said. The searches, which continued till late in the night, were spread across the premises of the accused and also included that of a Brigadier in the personnel wing at the headquarters.
The agency has registered the case against Moni, Hyderabad-based army officer Purshottam, Bengaluru-based barracks and stores officer (BSO) S Subhas and alleged middleman Gaurav Kohli. The name of Brigadier S K Grover, DDG Personnel, has been mentioned in the FIR but does not figure in the list of accused.
The agency has seized phones and laptop of Grover during the searches, CBI sources said. Moni, Kholi and some other senior officers were allegedly involved in a transfer-posting racket in which choice postings were ensured in return for "huge illegal gratification" which ran into lakhs of rupees for a single case, sources said.
The "expose" is bound to send ripples in the Army with some more senior officers suspected of involvement in the case, CBI sources said. The bribe was being paid through hawala channels, the CBI FIR alleged. It has alleged that Moni entered into a criminal conspiracy with Kohli and Purshottam, an army officer posted in the engineer stores department (ESD), Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, for influencing the transfer of various officers.