CBI approver booked in graft case

CBI approver booked in graft case

Dipesh Chandak, one of the key accused-turned-approver in the multi-crore fodder scam, has been booked by the CBI in a case of graft for bribing the Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials to obtain an extension of his warehouse' lease term with an increased rate in Ranchi district of Jharkhand.

The investigation agency, which registered a case against Chandak and others in Delhi, has arrested assistant general manager of FCI in Ranchi A Sikandar and Chandak's employee Ranjan Chitlangiya in connection with the case.

Chandak, a Kolkata-based businessman, however, has been on the run since the case was registered and the two accused were arrested.

According to sources, the CBI busted the graft case and zeroed in on the two accused on getting the information about the case from “a source.”

The agency had put the mobile phones of the Sikandar, Chandak, Chitlangia and others accused under surveillance to verify the information supplied by its source.

The CBI sleuths are interrogating Sikandar and Chitlangia, taking them into remand. A special CBI court in Ranchi sent the two accused into CBI remand till August 20 (Monday) on the agency's request after the duo were produced in the Court on Saturday.

According to the CBI, Chandak gave a total of Rs 7 lakh bribe in two instalments to Sikandar and other FCI officials through Chitlangia to obtain an extension of the lease term of his warehouse in Ranchi with an increased rate. The FCI had taken the warehouse of the accused on a lease, term of which was going to expire shortly.

To felicitate extension of the lease term with an increased rate, Sikandar under a conspiracy with other FCI officials formed a committee for conducting a field survey and submit a report on the suitability of the warehouse and prevailing rates in the vicinity for taking it on a lease.

However, the committee did not conduct any field survey and the FCI officials prepared a favourable report on the basis of forged agreements and documents provided by Chitlangia, according to the CBI.

Chandak allegedly finalised “the deal” with the Sikandar and other officials of the FCI, meeting them at the FCI office in Ranchi on July 12. The FCI officials had called Chandak for negotiation.

The agency has booked Chandak, Sikandar, Chitlangyia, Chandak's company M/S Bina Textiles Limited, and some other officials of the FCI in the case under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Once close to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, Chandak was accused of being involved in the defalcation of over Rs 300 crore public money in the 950-crore fodder scam in Bihar and Jharkhand before the CBI made him an approver in most of the total 55 cases of the scam.

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