A special court today denied bail to an alleged middleman, arrested along with a Lt. Col. In connection with a transfer racket case at the Army headquarters here.
Special CBI Judge Naresh Kumar Malhotra denied the relief to Gaurav Kohli, at present in judicial custody along with Lt. Col. Ranganathan Suvramani Moni, noting that the investigation was at a crucial stage and if released on bail, the accused might hamper the probe since officers allegedly paid lakhs of rupees to manipulate their postings.
In its order, the court noted the submission made by public prosecutor Amit Kumar who had said that the CBI was probing whether some senior Army officers were involved in the racket.
“Moni, who was posted in the personnel division of the Army, was not authorised to transfer anyone and some senior Army officers are likely to be involved in this racket which is being probed.
“This is a very widespread racket and if granted the relief, Kohli may hamper the ongoing probe and may try to cover up the entire hawala racket,” the prosecutor said.
In his bail plea, Kohli said that he was not required for further custodial interrogation and no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody.
According to the CBI, an FIR was registered against Moni, a Hyderabad-based Army officer identified as Purshottam, Bengaluru-based barracks and stores officer (BSO) S Subhas and Kohli for various offences, including criminal conspiracy and corruption.
The bribe was paid through hawala channels, the CBI said in its FIR.
It alleged that Moni entered into a criminal conspiracy with Kohli and Purshottam, posted in the engineering stores department, for influencing the transfer of various officers.
Purshottam allegedly contacted Army officers who were either posted in different field formations or faced a transfer and wanted to be posted to a preferred location.
He used to contact Kohli, who was allegedly close to senior officers in the personnel division of the Army headquarters here, and used these contacts for transfer of officers for money, the FIR said.
It claimed Purshottam requested Kohli to pursue the posting of one D S R K Reddy and Subhas in exchange for a bribe. Both wanted to be posted from Bengaluru to Secunderabad or Visakhapatnam.
Moni assured Subhas that he would get him transferred through senior officers in the Army headquarters against payment, it claimed.
Subhas allegedly delivered Rs 5 lakh as bribe to Kohli through hawala operators, it added.