In FIR, Four CBI Officers Accused of Leaking Info to Firms Under Probe for Bank Fraud

The agency said the officers who were booked not only received regular kickbacks for compromising investigations but also acted as 'conduits' to bribe their colleagues.

New Delhi: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials booked for graft by the central probe agency were not only receiving regular kickbacks for compromising investigations, but were also acting as conduits to bribe their peers on behalf of companies accused of siphoning off crores of public money from banks, the FIR against them alleges.

The eight-page FIR was made public on Friday after the completion of a search operation by the agency. It alleges that inspector Kapil Dhankad received at least Rs 10 lakh each from his superiors, deputy superintendents of police R.K. Sangwan and R.K. Rishi, who were soliciting favours for Shree Shyam Pulp and Board Mills, accused in a Rs 700-crore bank fraud, and Frost International, accused in a Rs 3,600-crore bank fraud.

The embarrassing tale of corruption in the FIR says Sangwan, Rishi, Dhankad, and stenographer Sameer Kumar Singh, in a conspiracy with advocates Arvind Kumar Gupta and Manohar Malik and certain other accused, “have been compromising the integrity of investigation of certain cases on extraneous pecuniary considerations”.

“The CBI has a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, be it other departments or within the organisation. The case is a result of strict vigil and action on any input which indicates involvement of our officials in corrupt practices,” an agency official of the news gathering service PTI.

The CBI has booked four of its officers – Sangwan, Rishi, Dhankad and Singh – besides Malik and Gupta, additional director of Shree Shyam Pulp and Board Mills Mandeep Kaur Dhillon and directors of Frost International Sujay Desai and Uday Desai in the case.

According to reports, the “bribe-for-relief” racket has been active since at least 2018, with officers leaking confidential case-related information. An officer told Hindustan Times, “The leak of sensitive case related information like raids, status of investigation, filing of charge sheet etc helps accused persons in destroying the evidence. There is a possibility that more officers are involved in the scandal as CBI investigations are monitored at various levels and documents are usually kept in respective branches.”

After registering the case, the agency carried out searches on Thursday at its own headquarters, where some of the accused officers are posted, its academy, where Rishi is posted, and 12 other locations across the country, officials said.

It is alleged that Dhankad, after receiving a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from Sangwan on behalf of Dhillon, conveyed confidential information relating to a probe against Shree Shyam Pulp and Board Mills to Sangwan, the former investigation officer of the case, with an intention to favour the accused.

Rishi, another DSP now posted in the CBI Academy, also paid Rs 10 lakh to Dhankad in a separate case of Frost International to gain vital information and protect the accused, the FIR alleges.

Rishi paid the bribe to Dhankad on behalf of Sujay Desai and Uday Desai for extending favours to Frost International Private Limited, it alleges.

“…Rishi received Rs 15 lakh twice through two advocates namely Manohar Malik and Arvind Gupta (having office in Defence Colony) to extend favours to a Chandigarh-based company against which a corruption case was being investigated by CBI,” the FIR alleges.

It alleges that Dhankad twice received Rs 2.5 lakh from Gupta for having brokered the deal through Rishi.

“It has also been reliably learnt that the details of the investigation of many other cases, including confidential notes and directions, have been communicated by stenographer Sameer Kumar Singh to Sangwan and Rishi on pecuniary considerations to protect interests of the accused,” the FIR alleges.