The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday said it has registered a case against 15 accused including the elder brother of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and private firms for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 52.8 crore to the exchequer. 

The private companies, that are based in Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, their directors, proprietors, partners and unknown others have been booked by the CBI.

Agrasain Gehlot, the elder brother of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, is in the fertilizer business. He has been named as an accused in the FIR.

A senior CBI official said that initially a Preliminary Enquiry was registered in the matter. The CBI learnt during the inquiry that Muriate of Potash (MOP), a restricted item, could be exported only with the prior permission of the government.

Indian Potash Limited (IPL) supplies the imported Muriate of Potash (MOP) to farmers through its authorised dealers at subsidised rates and claims the subsidy from the government.

It was also found that the MOP was allegedly exported in the guise of Feldspar Powder, industrial salt to overseas buyers.

"Further to cover up the transaction, fictitious purchases of the Feldspar Powder, industrial salt through dealers in Rajasthan and Kolkata were allegedly shown. The accused had hatched a conspiracy during the period 2007 to 2009 with officials of Central Board of Excise & Customs and Indian Potash Limited and fraudulently helped to purchase and export total 24003 MT of Muriate of Potash in guise of industrial salt, Feldspar Powder. It caused a loss of Rs 52.8 crore to Govt. of India," said the official.

He said that searches were being conducted at around 15 locations in Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal at the premises of the accused.
Source IANS

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