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Glare on more army officers in recruitment scam

The CBI has so far booked five lieutenant colonels and two major-rank officers, and jawans apart from six private persons in this connection
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Imran Ahmed Siddiqui   |   New Delhi   |   Published 17.03.21, 02:01 AM

The CBI’s probe into the alleged irregularities in recruitment for the armed forces has opened a Pandora’s box in the Indian Army, with sources in the agency on Tuesday saying more serving army officers were suspected to be involved in the scam at several Service Selection Board (SSB) centres.

The CBI has so far booked seven army officers, including five lieutenant colonels and two major-rank officers, and jawans apart from six private persons in connection with the scam.


“The preliminary probe so far has revealed that the accused had abused their official powers/positions and accepted bribes from candidates who appeared for the review medical exam at Base Hospital in Delhi. Several other army officers are under the scanner,” said an agency official.

The bribes, he said, were allegedly paid in lakhs to the accused officers and their relatives and family members through cheques and RTGS for the selection of candidates.

“There is sufficient evidence of the accused army officers being the recipients of bribery amounts. It is a big racket and the involvement of more army officers is not being ruled out,” the official said.

The CBI, he said, has already shared the names of several other suspects with the army headquarters in Delhi.

“The sleuths have stumbled upon several documents that suggest large-scale irregularities in the recruitment scam. We are constantly in touch with officials in the army headquarters,” the official said.

The CBI registered a graft case acting on a complaint filed by Brigadier (vigilance) V.K. Purohit from the office of the additional directorate-general, discipline, and the adjutant general’s branch, army headquarters. It was alleged that on February 28, an input was received about the alleged involvement of serving personnel in accepting bribes for the clearance of review medical exams of temporarily rejected officer candidates at Base Hospital, Delhi.

“All the accused had facilitated the selection of the candidates at the SSB in exchange for bribes,” another CBI officer said.

The agency had on Monday carried out raids at 30 locations across 13 cities, including the Army’s Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment Area, residences of several accused in Bathinda, Kapurthala, Palwal, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Bareilly, Visakhapatnam, Jaipur, Guwahati and Jorhat.

Sources in the Indian Army said the case was handed over to the CBI since the scope of the investigation involved multiple agencies, including civil entities.

“The Indian Army has zero tolerance towards corrupt practices in the recruitment process for the selection of suitable candidates for the armed forces,” an army official said.

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