CBI scanner on key official rattles Home Ministry

Third grave breach of trust by top IAS officials in MHA

Joint Secretary, (Border Management) Sadakant who sits close to the office of Home Minister P Chidambaram has been “immediately” sent back to his parent cadre Uttar Pradesh after he was allegedly found to be indulging in corrupt practices.

Ministry officials confirmed to Deccan Herald that the CBI had kept the MHA official on its radar “for some time” and listed incriminating details about the official to the Ministry. “There was an allegation against Shri Sadakant, IAS, JS (Border Management), MHA,  under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Pending inquiry by the CBI, it was felt appropriate that he be repatriated to his cadre. Accordingly, he was repatriated on May 20, 2011”.

Soon after the investigating agency submitted the conclusive details, the ministry moved him to his parent cadre “with immediate effect”.

The IAS officer’s office in the North Block was examined by the investigating officials. Sadakant has not reported to his official residence and is learnt to have been moved to the house of a relative in Gurgaon, a suburb of the National Capital. The joint secretary border management had considerable influence in awarding key projects and contracts, including those of border roads. “ Intelligence Bureau and R&AW have joined the probe to get the details of the joint secretary’s other  contacts and activities”, sources said.
Sadakant had last week accompanied Chidambaram to Tripura when the latter inaugurated a border police post on the Bangladesh border. Interestingly the joint secretary had then flown to Tripura prior to the home minister’s visit  “to supervise the security measures”.

This is the third successive “trust breach”  in the last one year by the top IAS officers ,working in seminal posts in the Home Ministry. Ravi Inder Singh, working as Director in the internal security division of Home Ministry, was arrested on November 22, 2010, for allegedly leaking sensitive information of commercial interests to some telecom companies on the number portability issue.

 Singh, a 1994-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, who was working as Director in the sensitive Internal Security division, was under surveillance of the Special Cell of Delhi Police and was arrested following which searches were carried out at his office and residence, sources said. The Internal Security Division of the Home Ministry is considered to be the most sensitive wing and handles all crucial issues related to the country’s security.

Last year, the CBI also registered a corruption case against O Ravi, joint secretary ( disaster management) in the Ministry. He was accused of conniving with six private distilleries to cause an evasion of Rs 340 crore in excise duties and value added tax in the Union Territory of Daman.

Ravi, a 1983- batch Gujarat- cadre IAS officer, allegedly took a bribe of Rs 25 lakh to get a Daman administrator transferred, according to the CBI.

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