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Ex-DPIIT secretary Ramesh Abhishek raided by CBI in DA case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out searches at premises of former Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek in a disproportionate asset case which is an offshoot of a complaint filed against the retired IAS officer with the anti-corruption ombudsman, Lokpal.

Ramesh Abhishek is one of the three independent director of Paytm Payments Bank which is facing the Reserve Bank of India scrutiny on compliance issues. As secretary of the DPIIT, he is alleged to have helped Paytm’s parent company, One 97 Communications, to come out with an IPO. He later came on board of directors of Paytm Payments Bank post his retirement in 2019. The Reserve Bank of India, last month, stopped the Paytm subsidiary from offering services from February 29. The date however has been extended to March 15 to allow customers to do transactions, use wallet, FASTags and other facilities.

CBI Raids
The CBI searches took place at his residence, including in Greater Kailash- II, and other premises in the national capital, sources said. Ramesh Abhishek, who retired in 2019 as secretary of DPIIT and Chairperson of the Forward Markets Commission, has been facing multi-agency probe owing to directions of the Lokpal, including of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The Lokpal tasked the ED to look into the allegations of amassing wealth including valuation of former IAS officer Abhishek’s plush house in Greater Kailash – II. He is alleged to have favoured 16 companies during his stint as Secretary DPIIT and as a quid pro quo sought favours by way of consultancy fees from these companies post retirement. They figured as clients for former senior bureaucrat.

Abhishek, the 1982 batch IAS officer of the Bihar cadre, had reportedly said in an affidavit to Lokpal that his earning as professional fee in 15 months post-retirement was over ₹2.7 crore which was 119 times more that his monthly salary as a government servant that stood at ₹2.26 lakh.

Earlier, he had unsuccessfully tried to block Lokpal probe against him but the Delhi High Court allowed the ED to continue with the case. The Hindu BusinessLine

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