CBI investigates army recruitment scam, 7 senior officers among 17 booked

Ajeyo Basu

LAST UPDATED: March 16, 2021, 3:06 p.m.

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a corruption and criminal conspiracy case in a recruitment scam at various Service Selection Board Centres against 17 Indian Army personnel including five Lieutenant Colonels and two Majors.

The Agency carried out raids at 30 locations across 13 cities on Monday, including the Army’s Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment Area, raided several residences of accused in Bhatinda, Kapurthala, Kaithal, Palwal, Lucknow, Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Vishakhapatnam, Jaipur, Guwahati and Jorhat, said CBI spokesperson R C Joshi.

The officers named in the First Information report (FIR) filed by CBI are Lt Col MVSNA Bhagwan (presently on study leave), Lt Col Surender Singh of 31 SSB center North, Lt Col YS Chauhan of 6 Mountain Division Ordnance Unit, Lt Col Sukhdev Arora – Directorate General Recruiting, Lt Col Vinay (Group Testing Officer – Selection Centre South Bangalore), Major Bhavesh Kumar (GTO at 21 SSB, Kapurthala) and Major Amit Fagna (422, Field Hospital, Delhi Cantt). According to the investigation done by CBI, they all were a part of illegal selection of candidates at SSBs.

On February 28, an alleged involvement of serving personnel in accepting bribes for the clearance of medical exam of temporarily rejected officer candidates at the Base hospital in Delhi. The Central Anti Corruption Agency registered a case on March 13, on the basis of a complaint filed by the Brigadier (Vigilance) VK Purohit from the office of Additional Directorate General, Discipline and Vigilance, Adjutant General’s Branch, Army Headquarters.

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It is also alleged that Bribe has been paid to the officers in Lakhs and their family members via cheques, UPI, cash, RTGS for the selection of the temporarily rejected officer candidates.

Lt Col Surender Singh and Major Bhavesh Kumar received an undisclosed amount of bribes through their relatives. The relatives have also been booked under the scam. The CBI has also booked Major Kumar’s father Surender Kumar, wife Devyani, mother Usha Kumawat as accused for receiving money as bribe.

Moreover, on the behalf of Naib Subedar Kuldeep Singh, Lt Col Surender Singh’s brother in law Bhupender Bajaj and Pragati Singh received bribe.

Other than senior ranking officers, other army personnel named in the case are: Havildar Pawar Kumar, Naik Parwinder Jeet Singh, Naib Subedar Kuldeep Singh, Sepoys Kuldeep Singh and Rohit Kanwar, Rajesh Kumar and Havildar Harpal Singh, Lieutenant Navjot Singh Kanwar and Cadets Inderjeet and Hemant Dagar.

The Army claimed that there is enough evidence. The case should take a logical turn so that the accused could be punished and not set them free, the matter is given to CBI. No statement has been given by the Army on Monday.

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