//Top cops named in wireless scam

Top cops named in wireless scam

Kumar Rakesh and Sukhbir Siwach, 3 Sep, 2006 TIMES NEWS NETWORK

CHANDIGARH: CBI has filed a case against some of the state's top police officers, including those in the ranks of DGP and ADGP, in the infamous wireless scam.

Police officers in connivance with wireless suppliers had embezzled crores of rupees over a period of three years between 2000 and 2003.

Sources told TOI CBI on Friday registered an FIR against DGP- cum-commandant (Punjab homeguards) K K Attri and ADGP (vigilance) Izhar Alam.

They have been booked under various sections of IPC for cheating and forgery, and also under Prevention of Corruption Act.

Other senior officers named in the FIR included IG (crime) G D Pandey, DIG (intelligence) R P Singh and SP (Lokpal) Malvinder Singh Sidhu besides former ADGP D R Bhatti, former ADGP S C Jain and IG R C Prasad, now dead.

CBI took up the case after Punjab and Haryana High Court on May 30 this year asked it to probe the Rs 5.25-crore scam.

The sources told TOI these officers, who had served in the communication and wireless (C&W) wing, when the scam was committed, allegedly connived with private firms dealing in wireless sets, embezzling money to buy substandard sets.

One of the charges levelled was that the sets did not meet specifications laid down by Directorate of Coordination (police wireless) set up by the ministry of home affairs. The officers had billed Rs 2.77 crore as costs of the wireless sets when actually Rs 18-19 lakh was paid to purchase low grade instruments.

At the time the scam was first traced, two lawyers of Lawyers Initiative had moved Punjab and Haryana High Court alleging large-scale irregularities.

They had alleged Surya Telecom of Panchkula, the supplier of the sets, had a dubious background and its managing director Ajay Vir Sehgal was even booked by Punjab police when he was manager in Punwire — a Punjab government enterprise that closed down due to losses.

A top Punjab police officer told TOI on Saturday that the then ADGP (security) R K Gupta had carried out an internal probe and maintained wireless sets bought even after the first lot, in 2002-2003, were not "above board".

"A CBI team led by DSP S S Sandhu had procured files and records from us and the facts did cast a shadow on integrity of some officers. I never thought it was that serious," he said.

Besides these officers, Bangalore-based Motorola India, New Delhi-based Sanchar Antenna Ltd & Communication System and Surya firm and its MD Ajay Vir Sehgal have been named as accused in the CBI FIR.

Both firms supplied wireless sets to the Punjab police during the financial year 2002-03. These firms were on rate-contract with Directorate General of Supply and Disposal, GOI, and bound to follow certain specifications which they violated.