17 Indian army officers accused of corruption in bribes-for-recruitment case

By: News Desk      Published: 11:59 AM, 16 Mar, 2021
17 Indian army officers accused of corruption in bribes-for-recruitment case

Five Lieutenant Colonels, a Major and a Lieutenant of the Indian Army were among 23 people named by the CBI in an investigation into corruption involving recruitment to the force following searches in 30 places in 13 cities.

The accused include 17 army personnel in all and six others with "allegations pertaining to bribery and irregularities in recruitment of officers and other ranks through Service Selection Board", the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said.

The agency said the case was registered based on a complaint from the office of Additional Directorate General, Discipline & Vigilance, Adjutant General's Branch, Integrated HQ of Ministry of Defence (Army).

The CBI received a complaint last month that serving personnel were involved in accepting bribes for helping candidates clear medical exams at the Base Hospital in New Delhi.

Lt-Col MVSNA Bhagwan of the Army Air Defence Corps, the alleged mastermind of the recruitment racket, is among those named, they said.

The complaint said that Lt-Col Bhagwan, currently on study leave, and Naib Subedar Kuldeep Singh also received kickbacks from potential officer candidates at SSB centres.

The agency said that Lt-Col Surender Singh of 31 SSB centre North; Lt-Col YS Chauhan of 6 Mountain Division Ordnance Unit; Lt-Col Sukhdev Arora of Directorate General of Recruiting; Lt-Col Vinay, GTO, Selection Centre South, Bangalore; and Major Bhavesh Kumar allegedly facilitated the selection of candidates through SSB.

It is alleged that bribes in several lakh rupees were paid to the officers and their relatives through cheques, cash, and online transfers for the selection of candidates, they said.

Searches were conducted on Monday at 30 places including the Base Hospital at the Delhi Cantonment, other army establishments, civilian areas covering 13 cities, the CBI said.

The locations searched included those in Delhi, Lucknow, Jaipur, Guwahati, Kapurthala, Bathinda, Kaithal, Palwal, Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Vishakhapatnam, Jorhat and Chirangon. The searches led to the recovery of several incriminating documents which are being studied, the agency said.