The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 21 , 2014
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Car bribe leads to babu trail

- CBI wants to go after 5 on Sanjeevani payroll
MD Jayant Dayal Nandi’s wife Anamika, who is lodged in Ranchi’s Birsa jail

An ill-fated car, which was a bribe for a government official, is playing a crucial role in the probe of a multi-crore realty scam that rocked Ranchi, as the CBI has sought the state’s okay to prosecute five government employees.

As many as 33 FIRs have already been registered against Sanjeevani Buildcon Private Limited for duping at least 253 people from across the state by fudging land deeds and selling the same plots and flats more than once in the state capital.

Initially, the CBI estimated the Sanjeevani Buildcon scam to be worth around Rs 100 crore, but after questioning 253 victims, the agency has put the figure around Rs 300 crore.

Top CBI sources said that a week ago, the investigating agency sought prosecution sanction from chief secretary Sajal Chakraborty’s office and Ranchi deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey.

“Once we get the yes, we will file chargesheets against the five,” CBI joint director (Bihar-Jharkhand) A.K. Singh said.

Then Ranchi sub-registrar Sahdev Mehra apart, prosecution sanctions have been sought against then circle officer of Nagri block Krishna Kumar, then Ranchi assistant settlement officer Rajeev Ranjan and two circle office employees Shyam Sundar Nath Rai and Pradeep Khalkho.

This case, No. RC 7S/2013, is related to the sale of a 3.1 decimal plot at Pundag in Ranchi. The plot was sold twice to one Umashankar Prasad Srivastava.

“Mehra and others allowed it to happen. For this and other shady deals, they got cuts in cash and kind,” the CBI official said.

There are four other cases where CBI is probing government and police personnel allegedly on Sanjeevani payroll during 2008-2012.

Mehra, now Dhanbad sub-registrar, denied charges during two CBI interrogations. But now, the case seems watertight, thanks to an ill-fated car that Mehra accepted as a gift from Sanjeevani.

The silver Maruti XX4, which cost Rs 8.24 lakh, was bought on October 21, 2010, from the Kanke showroom of Premsons Motor Udyog Pvt Ltd on the name of one Praveen Kumar, then driver of jailed Sanjeevani director Shyam Kishore Gupta.

Gupta apart, those in Birsa jail are company MD Jayant Dayal Nandi’s wives Anita and Anamika as well as employee Arvind Singh. Nandi is absconding.

Praveen, a Patratu resident, was again interrogated on Tuesday by the CBI at an undisclosed location. He apparently confessed that Gupta persuaded him to say yes to the purchase under his name, which later was gifted to sub-registrar Mehra.

The CBI also quizzed Rishav Suman, the manager of the Kanke showroom, who said a day before the purchase, Mehra, his wife and son had selected the car. “Gupta introduced us to Mehra and carried two bags of cash. We were told the papers would be in Praveen’s name but Mehra was the real owner. Mehra’s son took a test drive,” Suman told the CBI.

Both Praveen and Suman are CBI witnesses against Mehra.

In a freaky twist of fate, Mehra’s wife Kiran and son Nishant died in an accident inside the same car on January 2, 2011. Driver Srinarayan Yadav was also killed.

More ironically, the deaths provided the first clue to Mehra’s link with Sanjeevani. Despite all efforts to conceal his identity, Gupta jotted down his personal cellphone number on the car’s purchase papers.

“When the car had the accident, Gupta got the first call from the police based on purchase papers. One R.P. Verma, a Sanjeevani bouncer, identified the bodies. Mehra, accompanied by Gupta, came later at the accident site between Ramgarh and Deoghar. We have enough evidence to nail Mehra,” a CBI official said.

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