Jain hawala case: ex-DIG sentenced to jail for taking bribe

Jain hawala case: ex-DIG sentenced to jail for taking bribe

A former senior CBI official was today sentenced to one-year imprisonment by a Delhi court for demanding and accepting bribe for not invoking TADA against the Jain brothers in the controversial 1991 Jain hawala case.

Former CBI DIG O P Sharma, 75, who was supervising the hawala case, was handed down the jail term and slapped with a fine of Rs one lakh by Special CBI Judge Pradeep Chaddah.

The court held him guilty of demanding bribe from the Jain brothers -- Surendra and Janendra Jain-- for not arresting them in the controversial case in which names of senior politicians and government servants had cropped up. None was convicted in the main Jain hawala case.

"In the case in hand, convict, who was a high-ranking CBI officer and was duty-bound to act truthfully and honsetly, deviated from the path. He sought bribe from the hawala dealers, who were under investigation by his department, to let them off the hook.

"In a way, he had compromised with security and well-being of the nation as the hawala dealers were funding terrorist activities in the country," the court said.
Taking a lenient view after considering Sharma's age and background, the court granted him bail till May 25 on a personal bond of Rs 30,000 and a surety of like amount.

While convicting Sharma, the court had held that CBI has proved that he took bribe in a case which was being supervised by him pertaining to hawala transactions.
CBI prosecutor Praneet Sharma had told the court that in April, 1991 a case under TADA and FERA was registered by CBI against one Ashfaq Hussain Lone, a deputy chief of intelligence of Hizbul Mujahideen. The arrest led to alleged hawala brokers Jain brothers.

The case was being supervised by Sharma. During its probe, the CBI team had raided the residential and office premises of industrialist Surendra Jain and Janendra Jain.
The team seized a huge amount of cash. A diary was also seized which contained names of politicians and bureaucrats to whom payments had been allegedly made by Jain.

CBI submitted Sharma thereafter started threatening Jains with invoking TADA against them and demanded a bribe for not doing so.

CBI said in the charge sheet that Surendra had then contacted L K Kaul, who knew Sharma, and asked him to intervene. He then agreed to pay him bribe in instalments and alongside recorded their conversations with Sharma. Nearly Rs 19 lakh was allegedly paid to Sharma before a trap was laid by CBI to nab him.

In June 1991, Kaul had made a written complaint with CBI against Sharma, after which the raiding party reached Sharma's residence in south west Delhi and recovered an airbag containing cash.