ACB produces charge sheet against BSNL officer, 5 others

Representational Pic

Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Monday produced a charge sheet against an officer of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, a BSNL phone mechanic and four others for running an illegal phone network.

A statement of ACB issued here said that it produced a charge sheet before the Court of Special Judge, Anti Corruption Srinagar Kashmir in a case under FIR No 30/2007 under section 5(1)(d) r/w 5(2) of J&K PC Act Svt 2006 of Police Station ACB against one Shamim Ahmad Shah, the then JTO BSNL now Sub Divisional Engineer Transmission Division BSNL Srinagar, one Roshan Lal Bhat (retired) the then BSNL phone mechanic and four other beneficiaries.

The statement said that the case was registered on the basis of allegations that two brothers Shabir Ahmad Bhat and Ajaz Ahmad Bhat during their stay in Saudi Arabia in 2003 found that calls at cheaper rates were being made to different countries from Saudi Arabia.

It said that they found that an illegal telephone network exists in Saudi Arabia and explored prospects for this particular illegal telephone network in Kashmir and developed contacts with the operators of the existing network.

The ACB statement said that they managed the access code of the BSNL exchange from them with the condition that they would provide two circuits to them as royalty.

It said that the accused beneficiary Ajaz Ahmad Bhat roped in Shamim Ahmad Shah, the then JTO BSNL Exchange Sopore.

The statement said that the accused Shah accessed code successfully and illegal call centres were established at various places in Sopore in the year 2004.

It said that with the transfer of the accused JTO from Sopore to Kargil in the year 2005, the call centre was also shifted to Kargil in furtherance of criminal conspiracy in an organised manner hatched by the private persons with the Junior Telecom Officer.

The ACB statement said that the during investigation, the call registries were seized and were examined for computation of call duration made to different countries.

It said that on the basis of seized call registers, it was found that international calls of total 56,89,000 minutes duration were made from five illegal call centres from Kargil.

The statement said that it was found that the accused had been operating call centres at Kargil since 2005 and the call tariff chargeable on landline telephones in Kargil from 1st August 2005 to 14th May 2007 was sought from BSNL Corporate Office, New Delhi.

It said that during this period, least call tariff of Rs 6 per minute and highest call tariff of Rs 12 per minute was found applicable.

The ACB statement said that BSNL had been deprived of pecuniary benefit of more than Rs 3 crore, which was a consequential loss to the public exchequer and BSNL authority for the year 2006-2007.

It said that in view of the facts and evidence collected during the course of investigation, charge sheet in case under FIR No 30/2007 of Police Station ACB, Srinagar had been produced before the Court of Special Judge, Anti Corruption, Srinagar against the accused Shah, the then phone mechanic BSNL Roshan Lal Bhat, and accused beneficiaries Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, Shabir Ahmad Bhat, Muhammad Shafi Bhat and Naseer Ahmad Malik.