New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated a preliminary enquiry against unknown officials of Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) and two private persons for allegedly placing ads in non-existent newspapers. CBI has calculated the total quantum of fraud at the moment to be around Rs 65 lakh.
As per Indian express citing CBI sources, it is alleged that certain officials in the DAVP, in connivance with owners of some newspapers, which now exist only in government records as they have either stopped printing long ago or print bare minimum copies to justify their existence, placed government ads in these newspapers and released payments leading to a loss to the exchequer.
“Irregularities have been found in the placement of ads in these newspapers between 2016 and 2019 period. These are such newspapers which have falsely claimed to have a circulation making them eligible for government ads. They either are not printing anymore or printing just about 100 copies which are sent to government offices to make them appear as if they are still in circulation. A preliminary enquiry has been started. If further evidence is found, a regular case in the form of an FIR will be registered,” a CBI officer said.
The case is a result of a nation-wide raid CBI carried out in August last year to crackdown on corruption in government departments. On August 30 last year, the CBI had carried out surprise checks across 41 cities and towns in the country involving more than 150 raids at offices of 27 different government departments. These raids were conducted in a joint operation with Vigilance Officers of concerned Government departments. Among the various departments raided at that time was also DAVP.