The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday registered a case against U.S. Awasthi, the then MD and CEO of IFFCO, Pravinder Singh Gahlaut, the then MD, Indian Potash Ltd (IPL) and several others in a corruption case. The probe agency also carried out searches at 12 locations across the country.
“The CBI has registered a case on the basis of references from Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizer and also on other information, against Awasthi, then MD and CEO, Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co-operative Ltd (IFFCO), Gahlaut, then MD of IPL, Amol Awasthi and Anupam Awasthi, both sons of then IFFCO MD and CEO and also promoters of Catalyst Business Associates Pvt Ltd, Vivek Gahlaut, son of then MD of IPL Gahlaut, Pankaj Jain, Jyoti Group of Companies and Rare Earth Group, Dubai, Sanjay Jain, brother of Jain and also President of Jyoti Trading Corporation and beneficial owner of other entities of Jyoti Group, Amrinder Dhari Singh, Sr Vice President of Jyoti Trading Corporation, Dubai,” a CBI statement read.
The investigating agency has also named Rajiv Saxena, a Chartered Accountant, Promoter, Midas Metal International LLC and other companies, Sushil Kumar Pachisia, employee of Pankaj Jain, unknown Directors of IFFCO and unknown others.
According to CBI Spokesperson, the complaint alleged that IFFCO and IPL have been importing huge quantities of fertilizers running into several thousands of MTs and raw materials for fertilizers from various foreign suppliers. It has been stated that the fertilizers are supplied to the farmers in India and the Government of India has been providing subsidy on fertilizers to facilitate supply to the farmers at reasonable rates, he said.
The complaint also claimed that in order to cheat government by claiming higher subsidy, these officials of IFFCO and IPL have been importing fertilizers and raw materials through Kisan International Trading FZE in Dubai, a subsidiary of IFFCO and other middlemen at highly inflated rates covering the commission meant for the accused including then MD of IFFCO and then MD of IPL, which was paid or transferred by the overseas suppliers to the accused officials through sham transactions involving the said accused.
The probe agency said that searches are being carried out at the office and residential premises of accused in 12 locations including Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai etc.