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17 Army officers booked in recruitment scam, during raid conducted by CBI

NEW DELHI: At least 17 army officers, including five officers with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and six civilians, have been booked by the Criminal Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged irregularities in armed forces recruitments.

The move comes after the agency teams carried out raids at 30 locations across 13 cities yesterday.
The raid was carried out at Army’s Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment Area, residences of several accused in Bhatinda, Bareilly, Kapurthala, Palwal, Kaithal, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Visakhapatnam, Jaipur, Guwahati, and Jorhat across the country.

The senior officers booked by the CBI are– Lt Col MVSNA Bhagwan of the Army Air Defence Corps; Lt Col Y S Chauhan of 6 Mountain Division Ordnance Unit, Bareilly; Lt Col Surender Singh of Service Selection Centre, Kapurthala; Lt Col Sukhdev Arora, Joint Director, DG Recruiting, New Delhi; Lt Col Vinay, Group Testing Officer (GTO), Selection Centre South, Bengaluru; and Major Bhavesh Kumar, GTO, Selection Centre North, Kapurthala.

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Other arrested officials include Major Amit Fagna, who was alleged of assisting rejected candidates in clearing the medical board.

According to reports, Lt Col MVSNA Bhagwan is the mastermind behind the recruitment scheme. A number of lower-ranking Army officials, as well as families of the accused officers, have also been arrested.

The CBI FIR is based on a complaint filed by Brigadier (Vigilance) V K Purohit, who alleged that on February 28 this year, he received details about serving personnel allegedly receiving bribes in return for clearance of examination medical exams of temporarily rejected officer candidates at the Base Hospital in New Delhi.

“Corruption in the recruitment process for selecting suitable candidates for the Indian Army is not tolerated by the Indian Army. A case of possible malpractice in selection procedures at a Services Selection Centre has been brought to light as a result of a proactive operation by Army intelligence agencies. The Indian Army has agreed to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation because the scope of the investigation includes several agencies, including civil entities,” said the army in a statement.

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