ACB registers FIR against IAS officer and 4 others in NRHM bribery case


IAS officer, Niraj Kumar Pawan has been booked by the Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau on charges for receiving bribes to manipulate work orders. He, along with four others have been booked under the orders of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

The Anti- Corruption had received a complaint last December, after which it decided to raid the residence and office of the IAS officer on Wednesday. It also raided the offices of two other men who were involved in this and also a middleman.

The IAS officer has been accused of receiving bribe when he was serving as the director, NRHM-IEC, with the help of a middleman Ajit Soni. He currently holds the post of Commissioner of Agriculture Department. As per the reports, corruption has been going on for a year and a half and IAS officer along with other people were involved in it. Two officials have also been accused to be a part of this. One of them is Additional Director Anil Agarwal and the other one is Chief Accounts Officer Deepa Gupta. Besides these, a store keeper whose name is Josy Varghese, is also a part of this racket.

All the five have been booked under the section of Prevention of Corruption Act. One of the officials of Anti-Corruption Bureau said, “Pawan continued to be involved in this racket even after he was transferred. Soni, the middleman, was allegedly at the center of the scam while Varghese allegedly handled the bribes and took care of the daily, minor expenses of the officials involved.”

He further added, “Soni had virtually become the single window clearance for all work orders under NRHM. If any firm did not pay commission, Soni would use his influence among higher officials to stop payments.”

The action has been taken on the complaint filed by a businessman, who was once a part of the racket, but later upheld all the connections. ACB officials alleged that the ‘complainant’ received work orders worth Rs 7 crore over 18 months and for receiving these work orders, he paid 17 per cent (Rs 1.5 crore) as ‘commission’.

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