Army recruitment scam: CBI books 23, including 17 Army officers

The Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) has filed a case against 17 Army officers and 6 of their family members for criminal conspiracy and corruption in army recruitment through the Service Selection Board(SSB).

Among those who have been charged by the investigating agency include six Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors, and a Major's family members.

The CBI had lodged an FIR after the complaint filed by Brigadier VK Purohit alleged that on February 28, some input was received that some Army officers were allegedly accepting bribes for clearance of review medical exam of temporarily rejected officer candidate at the Base Hospital in Delhi.

Following the input, Army had informed the Defense Ministry about the alleged racket.

A CBI spokesperson informed that "Searches were conducted at 30 places including Base Hospital, Cantonment, other Army establishments, civilian areas covering 13 cities. The raid led to the recovery of several incriminating documents. The documents so recovered during searches are being scrutinized".

According to the FIR report, Lt. Col. MVSNA Bhagwan, the alleged mastermind, currently on study leave in Visakhapatanam and Naib Subedar Kuldeep Singh used to seek gratification from the potential candidates on behalf of senior officers.

The accused had also accepted bribes from Havildar Pawan Kumar of the Army Service Corps Centre, Bengaluru for the selection of his son Neeraj Kumar to clear SSB 2020.

Major Bhavesh Kumar along with his parents and wife and Lt. Col. Surender Singh has been alleged to receive bribes through their relatives for the selection of about 15 candidates. It was also found that a big amount of money had been paid to officers through different payment platforms like UPI, RTGS, cheque, cash, etc.

Among these key players in the racket, other army personnel, Lieutenant Col YS Chauhan, Lt. Col Sukhdev Arora, Lt Col Vinay, Major Amit Fagan, Lieutenant Navjot Singh Kanwar, Naik Parvinder Jeet Singh, Havildar Rajesh Kumar, Havildar Harpal Singh, Sepoy Kuldeep Singh, and Rohit Kanwar are also named in the FIR.

The defense ministry has claimed that it has sufficient evidence to disclose the racket. The matter has been given to the CBI for further inquiry.

Due to malpractice in Army staff, the Indian Army has canceled the army recruitment exam which was going to be held on 28 February.

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