Court Accepts CBI’s Closure Report in Graft Case

A special court has accepted CBI’s closure report filed in a case lodged last year against 10 advertising agencies and unknown officials of Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) for allegedly causing loss to the state exchequer.

CBI had registered the case on the allegations that during November 2011, the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Integrated Headquarters (Navy) had placed an order with DAVP for outdoor publicity/Navy campaign within a budget of Rs. one crore and later, it was enhanced to Rs. two crore by the officials without any approval of the Navy and Director General of DAVP.

It had alleged that orders were issued in favour of 15 advertising agencies in which bulk orders were placed to M/s Graphis Ads Pvt Ltd and M/s Pioneers but during monitoring, largescale irregularities and deficiencies in the works on the part of 10 advertising agencies were pointed out.

It had also claimed that in spite of objection raised about deficiencies in works, 100 per cent payment was made to the 10 firms by the officials of DAVP, who had allegedly abused their official position in connivance with the proprietors of the advertising agencies, which resulted in loss to the exchequer.

The case was lodged for alleged offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

However, after conducting probe into the matter, CBI filed a closure report in the court saying that advertising agencies had displayed the advertisements as per term and conditions of DAVP and no deficiency was found in it.

Regarding the alleged loss to the exchequer, the agency said although it was found during investigation that excess payment was made to seven advertising firms but the matter has been sent to the DAVP to recover the excess payments.

Special CBI judge Vinod Kumar agreed with CBI’s conclusion that there was no evidence of any conspiracy between public servants and private parties.

“I have perused the final report and I agree with the investigation that there is no evidence of any conspiracy between public persons and private parties or any evidence of criminal misconduct by public servants within the scope of Section 13 of PC Act, 1988. Accordingly, I accept the closure report,” the judge said.

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