The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought sanction to prosecute two lieutenant colonels of the army for allegedly taking bribes worth over Rs 80 lakh from a civilian supplier in the procurement of ration for troops between 2012 and 2016 in Nagaland, people familiar with the development said.
Lt Col Amit Sharma and Lt Col Sutikshan Rana were posted at Army Service Corps (Supply) Type ‘C’ at Dimapur as successive Commanding Officers during this period when they allegedly took bribes in cash, kind and through bank transactions. The same contractor, identified as Jai Prakash Singh, allegedly gave bribes worth ₹58.62 lakh to Sharma, and Rs 22.92 lakh to Rana.
After completing its probe against the two officers, CBI has approached the defence ministry seeking sanction against them under prevention of corruption act so that a charge sheet can be filed. “The charge sheet is ready. We will file it as soon as ministry of defence accords sanction,” said a CBI officer who didn’t want to be named. Army and defence ministry spokespersons refused to comment.
The anti-corruption agency registered a case against Sharma, Rana and Singh on December 18, 2018 on a complaint from Brigadier Rajiv Gautam, posted at the headquarters of Army’s 3 Corps.
An Army court of inquiry held both officers guilty of taking the bribe. In fact, the army, while asking CBI to probe the matter in 2018, said : “ The magnitude of corruption is much more than what has been revealed by army investigations. Therefore, detailed further investigations are required by CBI to unravel the complete nexus of corrupt officers…”