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CBI registers FIR against ex-finance ministry bureaucrat JS Maini

CBI registers FIR against ex-finance ministry bureaucrat JS Maini

The FIR has been registered for allegedly receiving bribe of $1 mn (about Rs 6.4 crore) in a JV deal between Krishak Bharati Cooperative (Kribhco) and Norwegian fertiliser major Yara in 2007.

(Picture for representation purpose only.) (Picture for representation purpose only.)

Following an year of inquiry, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a first information report (FIR) against former senior finance ministry bureaucrat JS Maini and his family members for allegedly receiving bribe of $1 million (about Rs 6.4 crore) in a joint venture (JV) deal between Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (Kribhco) and Norwegian fertiliser major Yara in 2007.

In early 2014, an inquiry into alleged pay-off to Maini and his son by the Norwegian company for securing a JV with Kribhco in 2007.

Agency sources said that the CBI has registered a case against Maini, then additional secretary in the finance ministry, his two sons and their wives.

CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said that a case has been registered under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) under the Indian Penal Code.

"Searches were conducted at two places in Delhi and one place in Chandigarh. Incriminating documents have been seized", she said.

The CBI started preliminary inquiry based on statements from Yara and Norwegian prosecution agency Okokrim naming Maini and his son as suspects.

It is alleged that transfer of over $1 million had taken place in the offshore accounts believed to be of Maini and his family members.

Yara had accepted 270 million NOK penalty imposed by Okokrim on the alleged payoffs made to a consultant for an unrealised project in India.

"Our acknowledgement of guilt and acceptance of a fine reflect that the Okokrim findings are in line with those of our own investigation," Bernt Reitan," chairman of the Board of Yara International ASA had said.

The company was negotiating with Kribhco during 2006-07 for setting up a JV project. In April 2011, Yara appointed law firm Wiersholm to conduct an external investigation into the matter.

Yara in June 2012 had released the main findings of the investigation which said that an unacceptable payment of $1 million in 2007 to a consultant in India is documented related to negotiations with Kribhco.