CBI raids own officer, executives of firms that gave him ‘favours’

CBI

Acting quietly, the CBI on Thursday raided the residence of one of its investigating officers and the premises of two officials belonging to two companies which had been under the agency's scanner.

According to sources, the searches were in connection with charges that the officer, Additional Superintendent Om Prakash Parida, had received "pecuniary favours" in the form of international and domestic air tickets worth Rs 19.29 lakh from the two companies. The FIR was registered two days ago.

It was in 2010 that the CBI had registered a case against officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and a Delhi-based contractor, Oriental Structural Engineers Private Ltd, for award of contracts on the 120-km Nagpur-Betul highway. Besides two general managers of the NHAI, the then managing director of the company had been arrested. Parida had been the investigating officer in the case.

Earlier this year, the CBI closed the case for lack of evidence. However, its surveillance unit allegedly received intelligence that Parida had got pay-offs in the form of airline tickets from Oriental. A preliminary enquiry had then been registered and the officer moved from the anti-corruption unit. On Thursday, his residence was raided.

The CBI also conducted searches on the premises of an official working with Jaisu Shipping Company for alleged payoffs to Parida. The officer incidentally had not directly handled investigations into Jaisu.

As per the CBI FIR, from January 2010-August 2012, Parida travelled abroad four times with members of his family, with the tickets for the first trip to the US being booked by an official of Jaisu Shipping. Three subsequent trips were to Malaysia-Singapore, Europe and Australia, and the travel agent was paid by the head of accounts of Oriental Structural Engineers. The break-up of value of the air tickets for the four trips, as listed in the FIR was Rs 5.24 lakh; Rs 1.15 lakh, Rs 7.55 lakh and Rs 3.24 lakh.

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