Censor Board chief's locker throws up gold, diamond jewellery worth Rs 65 lakh
Continuing with their raid of assets in the name of former Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) also called Censor Board CEO Rakesh Kumar, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials opened his bank lockers in Mumbai and Vadodara on Wednesday and Thursday.
After opening the Vadodara locker, officials found gold and diamond jewellery, and property papers. Sources estimated the value of the jewellery to be around R65 lakh. “Kumar’s Baroda bank locker had gold and diamond jewellery and property papers in the names of various family members,” said a CBI official.
Sources also put the worth of property to be at least Rs 1 crore. Jewellery was also recovered from his Mumbai locker that was opened on Wednesday. When asked about the total value of the haul, a CBI official said, “We have not yet evaluated the total worth of various recoveries made from Kumar’s lockers.”
mid-day’s August 20 report on former CEO Rakesh Kumar’s ‘rate card’ for clearing films
Meanwhile, the CBI will be asking for extension of Kumar’s remand for further investigation; his custody expires today. Kumar was arrested on August 18 for allegedly accepting a bribe from a Chhatisgarhi film producer for speedy clearance of his film that was slated for an Independence Day opening.
Sarvesh Jaiswal, a CBFC panel member, and Shripat Mishra, a clearing agent, were also arrested for allegedly acting as middlemen on Kumar’s behalf in extracting bribes for clearing films. This paper had reported on how there was an established rate card for clearing films of different lengths and nature (feature, advertisements, etc).
CBI is also collating information on films that were allegedly cleared only if they came through select agents. They have also recorded statements of various officials working in Mumbai region. Meanwhile, the Censor Board has an interim CEO Shravan Kumar who heads the Children’s Film Society of India and will take additional charge of the Board.