Brigadier held in defence canteen scam
Serving army man had allegedly accepted Rs 7.5 lakh as bribe from private firm in return of granting illegal favours
Central Bureau of Investigations’ (CBI) anti-corruption branch in Mumbai yesterday arrested a serving brigadier in connection with a corruption case involving employees of the canteen stores department (CSD) of the defence ministry and a private company, the investigating agency said.
Brigadier Anuj Kainthla has been accused of accepting Rs 7.5 lakh as illegal gratification from Sankalp Consumer Products Pvt Ltd (SCPPL). CBI says the brigadier had invested the money in real estate at Panchkula, Haryana. He is the fifth person to be arrested in the scam.
CSD, with 3,825 canteens, operates from its head office in Mumbai and has depots all over India for supplying consumer goods to both serving and retired defence personnel. Such merchandise is made available at uniform and concessional prices.
Hustler in uniform?
According to CBI officials, a case was registered under Prevention of Corruption Act on the information that Sankalp Consumers Products Pvt Ltd (SCPPL) allegedly acted as a marketing arm and representative of a number of companies in an unauthorised manner against the policy set down by CSD.
Sankalp, through its director Milind Govilkar, and officials of CSD, entered into a criminal conspiracy, in furtherance of which they manipulated various demands of CSD items in favour of clients of the private firm. SCPPL was approbated by CSD officials at various stages such as introduction of items, price revision, delayed and excess supply, demand creation, budget allocation etc. In lieu of these favourable decisions, Sankalp, through Govilkar, had paid huge illegal gratification regularly to officers of CSD.
CBI had on June 30 in Mumbai arrested CSD joint general manager Bikas Ranjan Daschaudhary while he was accepting a bribe from officials of SCPPL at his residence. Three Sankalp officials Milind Govilkar, Vilas Harer and Manohar Vibhute were also nabbed.
Searches were then conducted at 20 places across the country at the official and residential premises of the accused and suspected officials. Incriminating documents, huge amounts of cash and jewellery were recovered. During the probe the name of the brigadier cropped up, after which he was arrested. “We have secured his police custody till July 5 and are investigating his role,” said a CBI official.