The CBI has booked 17 Army officers including five officers in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on charges of being involved in alleged irregularities in the recruitment of personnel in armed forces.
The Criminal Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has brought corruption charges against the Army officers, on Monday conducted searches in 30 locations across the country.
According to a media report, the Army officers, who have been booked by the CBI are Lt Col Surender Singh of Service Selection Centre, Kapurthala; Lt Col MVSNA Bhagwan of the Army Air Defence Corps and Lt Col YS Chauhan of 6 Mountain Division Ordnance Unit, Bareilly.
The other senior Army officers, booked by the agency are Lt Col Sukhdev Arora, Joint Director, DG Recruiting, New Delhi; Lt Col Vinay, Group Testing Officer (GTO), Selection Centre South, Bengaluru, and Major Bhavesh Kumar, GTO, Selection Centre North, Kapurthala.
The report quoted sources as saying that Lt Col MVSNA Bhagwan was allegedly the mastermind of the recruitment racket.
The investing agency has also booked many lower-ranking Army officials and relatives of the accused officers.
The report a CBI spokesperson as saying that searches were conducted on Monday in 30 locations including Base Hospital, Cantonment, other Army establishments, civilian areas in 13 cities and towns.
These cities and towns were Kapurthala, Bathinda, Delhi, Kaithal, Palwal, Lucknow, Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Visakhapatnam, Jaipur, Guwahati, Jorhat and Chirangon.
The search operation led to the recovery of several incriminating documents, the CBI spokesperson said, adding, “The documents recovered during the searches are being scrutinized.”
The CBI lodged an FIR on the basis of a complaint filed by Brigadier (Vigilance) VK Purohit on February 28, 2021.
It was alleged that several serving Army personnel were involved in accepting bribes for clearance of review medical test of temporarily rejected candidates as Army officers at the Base Hospital in New Delhi.
“Indian Army has zero tolerance towards corrupt practices in the recruitment process for selection of suitable candidates for Indian Army. Based on a proactive operation by Army intelligence agencies, a case of possible malpractice in selection procedures at a Services Selection Centre has come to light,” the Army said in a statement.
“Since the scope of investigation involves multiple agencies including civil entities, Indian Army has decided to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation,” the statement said.