In the swiftest action against erring personnel, the Central Bureau of Investigation has dismissed its four officers under a stringent constitutional provision and arrested them after they were allegedly found involved in staging a raid on a company in Chandigarh to extort money, officials said Thursday.
The CBI received a complaint from a Chandigarh-based businessman on May 10 that six people, including four from the CBI, had entered his office and threatened him with arrest on the charges of supporting and providing money to terrorists. They also claimed to have information regarding it.
"It was further alleged that the accused forcefully took the complainant in a car and demanded Rs 25 lakh from him," CBI spokesperson R C Joshi said.
As part of the bureau’s zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, CBI Director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal swung into action, looked into the matter and found prima facie involvement of his men in the embarrassing episode.
He immediately issued directions to dismiss the accused officers from service invoking Article 311 of the Constitution, they said.
Under Article 311, presidential pleasure stands withdrawn and a government official is dismissed from service.
The accused -- Sumit Gupta, Pradeep Rana, Ankur Kumar and Akash Ahlawat (all sub-inspectors at the CBI's Delhi-based units) -- were taken into custody by the agency on Wednesday night and Thursday after registering a case against them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 388 (extortion by threat of accusation of an offence), under which the minimum sentence is 10-year imprisonment and the maximum is life imprisonment.
The dismissed officers were working in anti-corruption units, economic offence wing and Interpol protocol division of the CBI.
"We have never heard of such a swift action where officials of a police force have been dismissed within a couple of days of their illegal action coming to the fore," an official said.
During the staged "raid", a ruckus was created and one of the officers was rounded up, officials said, adding that the other accused were identified later.
The CBI conducted a search operation at the premises of the accused officers during which incriminating documents were recovered, Joshi said.
"As part of its zero-tolerance policy towards corruption and other offences, not only in respect of those from outside but its own officials, the CBI, on receipt of the complaint, immediately registered a case, identified its other officials allegedly involved in the matter and effected their arrests. Taking a serious note of this act on part of these delinquent officials, all four of them were dismissed from service," Joshi said.
The four dismissed officers were produced before a special court by the Chandigarh branch of the CBI and were remanded in two-day custody of the agency.