CBI books former finance secretary Arvind for ‘corruption’ in supply of currency notes

New Delhi: The CBI on Thursday searched the premises of former finance secretary Arvind Mayaram and a UK-based company after registering an FIR against him.

The CBI in its FIR alleged that Mayaram, a UK-based company De La Rue International Limited, and unknown officials of the Ministry of Finance and the RBI entered into a criminal conspiracy to cause undue benefit to the firm.

The agency alleged that Arvind Mayaram, as finance secretary, had “illegally” entered into a “contract” with the company for supply of special color shift security thread without obtaining any mandatory security clearance from the home ministry or informing the then finance minister gave an extension of three years.

The FIR states that the extension given by Mayaram was allegedly the fourth. The CBI registered the FIR under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and cheating and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

This followed searches at the Jaipur and Delhi residences of the retired IAS officer of the 1978 batch, days after he attended Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo tour.

The agency had registered a preliminary inquiry in 2018 on a complaint by the Chief Vigilance Officer, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.

Based on its findings, the CBI has converted it into a regular case against Mayaram, economic advisor to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

The agency has said in its FIR that the Center entered into a five-year agreement with De La Rue International Limited in 2004 for the supply of special color shift security thread for Indian bank notes. The contract was extended four times till 31 December. , 2015.

The agency has alleged that the then Finance Minister authorized the Reserve Bank of India to enter into special agreements with suppliers of special security facilities on behalf of the Government of India, which was signed with De La Rue on September 4, 2004. were done.

The agreement with the company specifically mentioned that the company had developed a unique India specific green to blue color shift Clear Text MRT machine-readable security thread for use in Indian banknote paper as a security feature and which The company has exclusive manufacturing rights.

The CBI found that the company had applied for a patent in India on June 28, 2004, was published on March 13, 2009, and was granted on June 17, 2011, which shows at the time of the agreement, it had was not a valid patent.

The CBI has alleged, “Investigation has revealed that De La Rue made false claims of holding patents and at the time of presentation in 2002 and at the time of his selection in 2004, he did not have any patent for color changing thread.”