CBI’s Asra Garg, who is a TN cadre IPS officer, was allegedly offered a bribe of Rs 2 crore by an MHA official on behalf of Soma Enterprises, a Hyderabad-based company.

MHA official arrested for attempting to bribe TN cadre CBI officer Asra GargAsra Garg
news Corruption Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 12:15

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested an employee of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for allegedly trying to bribe Asra Garg, Head of the Anti-Corruption Branch in the CBI, New Delhi. Garg is a TN cadre IPS officer. 

In his complaint dated September 11, Garg said that he was contacted by Dheeraj Kumar Singh, a Section Officer of the MHA, who he knew. Dheeraj introduced him to Dinesh Chand Gupta, a representative from Soma Enterprises, and asked for Garg’s help with regard to an inquiry into the Hyderabad-based infrastructure development company to favour them. Soma Enterprises is an infrastructure development company that works on projects related to transportation, hydel power and water resources, and others.

The complaint adds that Dheeraj contacted Garg again and allegedly offered a bribe of Rs 2 crore. “He also informed that they have taken the approval of senior management/ office bearers Soma Enterprises Ltd. for the proposed payment of illegal gratification,” the complaint states. 

The CBI’s verification report later confirmed Dheeraj’s alleged bribe offer on behalf Dinesh and PR Rao, the director of Soma Enterprises. 

To verify Garg’s complaint, the CBI made Garg call Dheeraj regarding the offer and Garg asked the MHA official to meet him. This call was recorded. An independent witness who was also in on the call pretended to be Garg’s driver when he went to meet Dheeraj, and this witness was told to be present during the conversation to ascertain the offer. The entire conversation was recorded. 

Later on, it was revealed that Dinesh told Garg about the case regarding Soma Enterprises, and that the Chairman of the company was aware of the meeting. He then allegedly offered Garg Rs 2 crore to settle the matter and after that, Dheeraj allegedly offered Rs 10 lakh to Garg as an advance, which he reportedly said that he had taken on behalf of the company from Dinesh.

A case was then registered against Dheeraj, Dinesh, PR Rao and Soma Enterprises under IPC Section 120B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) read with Sections 7A, 8, 9, 10 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

Dheeraj and Dinesh were arrested on Thursday, while PR Rao was nabbed the  next day. 

The CBI carried out searches at the premises of the accused which led to the recovery of certain incriminating documents.

Dinesh Gupta, who is reportedly a middleman, already has charges against him from a 2013 case. Then too, he had allegedly tried to broker a deal with the CBI, and bribed a CBI official. Dinesh and the CBI official were both arrested with the bribe amount of Rs 7 lakh.

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