Bhopal, Jan. 13: Tainted and dismissed IAS officer Tinu Joshi, who came on a wheel chair and surrendered in the court of special judge Dinesh Prasad Mishra here in a case relating to accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income, was today sent on a 14-day judicial remand. Her husband, Arvind Joshi, who was also dismissed from service in this case is said to be absconding.
Ms. Joshi applied for bail on the grounds that she is undergoing treatment and has to be operated tomorrow at Udaipur in Rajasthan but the court turned down her request and sent her on judicial remand.
On March 1, 2014, the special police establishment of Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta (apex State investigating agency) had filed a challan against IAS couple Arvind and Tinu Joshi (undergoing suspension at that time) along with Mr. Joshi’s father H.M. Joshi, a former Madhya Pradesh police chief, his mother Nirmala Joshi two two NRI sisters–Abha Joshi-Ghani and Vibha Patel. Abha Joshi-Ghani,who was Director for Knowledge Exchange and Learning at the World Bank Institute. She had led the World Bank’s Urban Strategy in 2010–and twelve others in a special court here designated to try cases under the anti-corruption law.
The Joshi couple’s official residence in the State capital was raided by the Income Tax department in March 2010 leading to the seizure of Rs. 3 crore in cash and documents showing huge investments.
A SEBI report received by the Income tax department gave extensive details of the DMAT account of Mr. Joshi. He was the acquisition manager as Joint Secretary Ministry of Defence from 1999 to 2001 and was later the Joint Secretary (G/Air) in the Ministry of Defence till he returned to Madhya Pradesh—his parent cadre in 2004 and, was the State Principal Secretary Water Resources for a couple of years. Ms. Tinu Joshi was holding the post of Principal Secretary Women and Child Care Department when her house was raided. Earlier she was Deputy Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office between 1988 and 1990. She was later posted as Development Commissioner Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India (2004-07) and member secretary of All India Handicrafts Board. She was also Secretary General Federation of Indian Export Organisations. It is the apex Export Promotion Body set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.
Two years ago, Madhya Pradesh High Court had quashed a petition filed by Arvind to seek more time for his sisters, Abha and Vibha Patel, to appear before a departmental inquiry committee. The High Court had even censured him for failing to produce his sisters for cross examination as “witnesses” before the DPC.
The Madhya Pradesh Government had written to the Centre in the last week of April 2012 seeking the couple’s dismissal after placing the couple under suspension The Government of India sacked the tainted couple from the IAS around mid-2014.
In March 2010, immediately after the Income Tax raid at the Joshi couple’s residence, the then Director General Income Tax (Investigations) for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Brajesh Gupta had said that during the search and seizure operation, they had seized a large amount of money in foreign currency. The possession of foreign currency is a violation of law, he had said adding that the matter had been referred to the concerned agency (Enforcement Directorate) and it was for them to take cognizance. While pointing out that several documents indicating huge investments had been seized from their residence, he had said that the record of calls made from their telephone and cell phones has also come under the scanner and their links are being probed.
In January 2011, The Income Tax Department had submitted a 7000 page report to the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta which indicted the couple and pointed out that they had amassed huge unaccounted wealth. The Income Tax department report concluded that the couple had invested crores in the share market and also in real estate. In their own capacity, they had acted as share brokers, traders and real estate developers. They were owning more than a dozen flats in Guwahati and had acquired over 400 acres of land.
While following up the Joshi couple’s case, sources in the Income Tax department sources had pointed a finger at the close association of Arvind with one of the promoters of the Vectra Group, which has its operations spread across continents and is now being investigated by the CBI in a case linked with bribery for purchase of “Tatra” trucks registered on a complaint by Union Minister and former Army chief General V.K. Singh (retired). Vectra Group is the largest shareholder of the consortium Tatra Holding s.r.o. that owns Tatra a.s. The Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) has been making the trucks under licence from Tatra. Inquiries revealed that Vectra Group had acquired over a four year period maximum shares in India Exposition Mart Ltd, established in Greater Noida for improving the vast potential of exporting Indian Handicrafts, when Tinu Joshi, was posted as Development Commissioner Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. She was also the member secretary of All India Handicrafts Board. The Board’s mandate was to advise the Government on the formulation of the overall development programmes in handicrafts sector. She was also Secretary General Federation of Indian Export Organisations. It is the apex Export Promotion Body set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. Earlier she was Deputy Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office between 1988 and 1990.