Jaipur: Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Rajasthan claimed to have busted a racket in National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) as it conducted raids at the residence and office of senior IAS officer Neeraj K Pawan and held an alleged “middleman” Ajeet Soni.
According to ACB IG V K Singh, Soni used to collect bribe amount in the form of consultancy fees from firms in lieu of getting them tenders from the department in collaboration with the officers.
Soni used to collect bribe amount and distribute among the officers, who included former Additional Mission Director, NRHM Neeraj K Pawan, Additional Director IEC Anil Kumar Agrawal, Chief Accounts Officer Deepa Gupta and Store keeper Joji Varghese, he alleged.
“Soni was in touch with them and used to influence the tender process in connivance with the officers. He became consultant to firms which work for the NRHM and helped them in getting tenders allotted to them in lieu of hefty amount.
Since the tenders were awarded by him, Neeraj K Pawan is a strong suspect,” the IG said.
An FIR was registered yesterday by the complainant, following which raids were conducted at 18 premises belonging to all the four.
“The complainant gave Rs 1.5 crore as the bribe amount to Soni in the last few months to get work orders worth Rs 7 crore. During search operation, we recovered a car, a scooty from the IAS officer’s home which were purchased by the Soni for the officer,” he said.
Besides Rs 2.5 lakh in cash, 4100 USD were also recovered from Pawan’s house, the IG claimed.
“We will inform the Enforcement Directorate about the recovery of dollars,” he added.
As for other officers, they all are under surveillance but no one has been arrested so far, Singh said.
“We are presently working on the specific complaint and the scope of investigation will be broadened in coming days,” he added.
The officer claimed that the ACB sleuths have recovered several important documents, files, electronic devices which have “crucial details about the bribes”.
Pawan, an IAS officer of 2003-batch, is presently posted as the Commissioner in the agriculture departmen