CBI books two for asking Rs 100 graft per Rs 20,000 deposit

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing thousands of crores of rupees bank fraud cases, raised eyebrows on Monday by registering a case of alleged graft of “Rs 100 felicitation fee per Rs 20,000” against two postal department officials in Pratapgarh, UP.

According to CBI officials, the case was registered against two postal department officials — Santosh Kumar Saroj, posted as supervisor, and Suresh Mishra, working as postal assistant at the Kunda post office at Pratapgarh — on the basis of a complaint by Prabhat Kumar Singh, husband of Sushma Singh who works as a commission agent for the post office.

The CBI on November 30 booked them under the charges of criminal conspiracy and demand of undue payment by public servants.

In his November 28 complaint to the CBI, Singh alleged that on November 25 he and his wife went to deposit Rs 99,400, on November 26 Rs 59,920 and Rs 60,000 on November 27.

“On November 25 and November 26, my wife was charged Rs 500 and Rs 300 more. When I inquired the reason from Mishra and Saroj, they said for every Rs 20,000 deposit Rs 100 will be charged as a facilitation fee,” Singh said.

“We were told if we want to work then we shall have to pay the amount or leave the commission agent’s job,” he said. He mentioned the facilitation fee in his voucher that he submitted to the post office, Singh said.

“The next day, I again went to the post office along with my wife to deposit Rs 60,000 and was again asked to pay Rs 300 as facilitation fee by them. This time, on my repeated request they accepted the payment without the facilitation fee, but warned us that the next time we would have to pay Rs 100 per Rs 20,000 or else deposit would not be accepted,” Singh said.

“I don’t want to pay Rs 100 facilitation fee every time to these officials and thus request you to accept my complaint,” Singh said in his complaint.

Following Singh’s complaint, the CBI booked the two officials and launched a probe.

Commenting on the case, a CBI official in Delhi said no case was small or big. “We deal with all the cases seriously,” the official added.

This case stands out in the background that the CBI is probing several high-profile bank fraud cases involving top honchos. It is probing fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of the Geetanjali Group for defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs 13,500 crore. It is also probing the Rs 9,000 crore bank fraud by Vijay Mallya, chief of now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at anand.s@ians.in)

–IANS

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