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April 19, 2021
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Naval officers in the dock: CBI raids 26 places in one day in fake bills case

The CBI on Thursday raided as many as 26 places in Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka, and Gujarat relating to a case filed against four naval officers and 14 others for allegedly forging bills amounting to 6.7 crore. A senior official in the CBI revealed to the media that they have recovered Rs. 10 lakh and other incrementing documents during the search.

At a time when the Indian Air Force is basking in the glory of inducting the superior Rafale jets into its fleet of war machines, this is a contrasting situation and embarrassment for the Navy. The elite investigation agency booked four Navy officers and 14 others in the case.

The accused include Captain Atul Kulkarni, Commanders Mandar Godbole, and RP Sharma, and Petty Officer LOG (F&A) Kuldeep Singh Baghel who have embezzled funds by preparing seven fraudulent bills of Rs 6.76 crore. It was mentioned in the FIR lodged on July 21 by the CBI.

“All these accused naval officers abused their official position to defraud the naval authorities and rob the exchequer of public money which led to pecuniary gain to themselves,” the FIR mentioned.

The alleged forgery was committed between January and March in 2016 at the Western Naval Command in Mumbai in the supply of IT-related materials and networking hardware. However, the CBI FIR mentions that so such materials were supplied in actual and the bills were falsified.

“None of the items mentioned in the bills were supplied to HQ, WNC (Western Naval Command). No documents pertaining to the preparation of the bills, i.e., approvals, financial sanction, purchase orders, receipt vouchers, etc are available at HQ,” said the FIR.

The CBI has also booked four officials of the Controller of Defence Accounts, apart from private companies Star Network, ACME Networks, Cyberspace Infovision, and Moksh Infosys.

Image for representational purpose, courtesy: ET

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