Home ministry official arrested on graft charge

New Delhi: The CBI on Sunday arrested union home ministry official Anand Joshi, who had gone missing after the agency issued him summons following corruption allegations.

"Based on the information of his movements, raids were conducted and Joshi was detained from Tilak Nagar in west Delhi around 5 p.m. today (Sunday). He was taken to the CBI headquarters (in Delhi) and was arrested after questioning," Central Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Devpreet Singh told IANS.

The official said that Joshi was trying to evade CBI questioning regarding information on charges against him. "His family is also not cooperating in the investigation."

The CBI booked Joshi, an under secretary, earlier this month on charge of corruption and asked him to appear for questioning. Joshi subsequently went missing.

Home ministry sources earlier said that Joshi, recently posted in the foreigners division, had access to files related to Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and was under the scanner for several months. He was reported to the CBI after it was confirmed that he was allegedly taking bribes to favour certain NGOs.

Joshi was also indulging in other alleged illegal activities and arbitrarily issuing notices to a large number of non-governmental organisations and societies registered under the FCRA who had been receiving significant foreign contributions.

Joshi is said to have demanded and obtained illegal gratification from some of these organisations, which was laundered through various immovable assets as well as certain private companies.

The accused official was also accused of being responsible for some files related to Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Sabrang Trust going amiss from the ministry a few months back. The files were later traced to the officer and restored.

Joshi along with some unknown people has been booked on charge of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The CBI had seized certain incriminating documents, including files pertaining to the MHA and ministry of information and broadcasting, from his residential and office premises.

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