Hyderabad: A senior employee of Soma Enterprises, a Hyderabad-based infrastructure company, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after he, along with a section officer in the ministry of home affairs (MHA), and a private person, allegedly tried to offer a Rs 2 crore bribe to a DIG rank official of the CBI to clear a pending probe against the company.
P.R. Rao, vice-president, Soma Enterprises, Dheeraj Singh, a home ministry official, and a private person, Dinesh Chand Gupta, were arrested and produced in a designated court in Delhi on Friday.
Soma Enterprises vice-president P.R. Rao, MHA official Dheeraj Singh and the private person, Dinesh Chand Gupta, were arrested and produced in the designated court in Delhi on Friday.
Soma chairman and managing director Rajendra Prasad Maganti told Deccan Chronicle that though he was unaware of the bribery case, there was no case involving his company, located in Banjara Hills, with the CBI.
The IPS officer to whom the bribe offer was made is Mr Asra Garg, a Tamil Nadu cadre officer, who is on deputation with the CBI and is heading its anti-corruption branch. The matter pertains to a preliminary enquiry being dealt by the CBI involving Soma Enterprises.
According to CBI officials, Dheeraj Singh, who is posted in Police-I division of the MHA, is alleged to have called up Asra Garg for a meeting where he offered the bribe to settle the matter. The offer was made on behalf of P.R. Rao.
Post the meeting, Mr Garg apprised his seniors and filed a complaint regarding the bribe offer on September 11. A meeting was set up and Gupta made the CBI official speak to P.R. Rao.
Singh and Gupta were arrested while delivering Rs 16 lakh to the DIG and searches were conducted at the premises of the accused which led to the recovery of certain incriminating documents. The sleuths nabbed Rao on Friday.
Soma chairman and managing director Rajendra Prasad Maganti claimed that he was “unaware” of his senior employee's arrest in the bribery case. “PR Rao is our engineer and had been working with various projects. I am not aware of any development as Iam not actively involved in the functioning of the company,” he said.
Mr Prasad said that there was no case against the Soma group with the CBI. “The company is going slow as the economy has hit all the infrastructure companies,'' he said and claimed he was “retired.”
Asked whether he was aware of the bribe offer, Mr Prasad chose not to comment. His son Ankineedu Maganti is running the show at Soma.
Founded in 1997, Soma Enterprises is engaged in construction and development of core infrastructure projects including highways, energy, Irrigation and water resources, rail and Metro, Urban infrastructure, transmission, special structures, mass housing, warehousing and tourism. According to the company’s website, Soma Enterprise is a Rs 25,000-million infra solutions company and is managing an order book in excess of Rs 1,51,840 million comprising over 25 projects.