‘Chak De’ role model Negi may be suspended in airport graft case

negi

HIGHLIGHTS

  • SRK-starrer ‘Chak De India’ was based on Mir Ranjan Negi
  • Negi, ex-Indian hockey goalkeeper who faced humiliation after conceding seven goals against Pak in the 1982 Asian Games final.
  • He was dropped from the team but 16 yrs later, he returned as the goalkeeping coach for the women’s team, which won the 1998 Games gold.

MUMBAI: Mir Ranjan Negi, assistant commissioner of customs and former India hockey goalkeeper, the inspiration behind the Bollywood hit movie Chak De India, and his colleague may be suspended in the ongoing crackdown against corruption in the air cargo complex, Sahar.

Chief commissioner of customs Devendra Singh has written to the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to suspend M R Negi and assistant commissioner V M Ganoo. Both officials, attached to the air cargo complex, were recently transferred out of the complex on the instructions of the directorate of vigilance for supervisory failure, sources said.

Last week, Singh had suspended 17 officials comprising appraisers and examiners as part of a crackdown on corruption. TOI has been running a series of reports on smuggling operations at the air cargo complex.

In a text message, Negi said, “Unfortunately, I cannot offer any comment as vigilance investigations are being conducted by the vigilance department and the whole truth is bound to come out soon.” Ganoo did not respond. In a message, Singh said the process (for suspension) is different in these cases. Negi and Ganoo have already been transferred to insignificant postings.

The air cargo complex, the oldest and the biggest in the country, generates a revenue of Rs 14,000 crore. In the past three months, various units of the CBEC have unearthed smuggling rackets operating out of the complex, indicating a failure of the monitoring system.

Negi came under the scanner after the central intelligence unit of the customs department, during a surprise check in May, found that a group of importers was smuggling mobile phones and accessories involving Rs 26 crore customs evasion. In this case, the imports were physically assessed and examined and not cleared automatically through the electronic facilitation mode, indicating that officers were aware of the items, sources said.

Subsequently, on the instructions of Directorate of Vigilance, 11 officials were transferred. Those suspended include the officials transferred out of the complex. “Negi was in charge of examination of goods and the suspended examiners and appraisers directly reported to him,” a source said.

A case of seizure of 200 blank guns declared as toy guns went against Negi and Ganoo, sources said. A separate license under the Arms Act is required to bring in blank guns unlike toy guns, The matter came out during an inspection by the directorate of vigilance after the goods remained uncleared for a month. “Ganoo had examined the guns and decided they were toy guns but before they were handed over to the importer, a vigilant official raised an objection. “Ganoo has no role in the mobile phone smuggling case,” the source said. The vigilance department has already begun recording the statements of suspended officials.

Man who inspired Chak De! India
Chak De is based on the real-life story of Negi, a former Indian hockey goalkeeper who faced humiliation after conceding seven goals against Pakistan in the 1982 Asian Games final. Negi was dropped from the team, but 16 years later he returned as goalkeeping coach for the women’s team, winning the 1998 Asian Games gold at Bangkok. He and some others were sacked but Negi came back as the goalkeeping coach for women and won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2002. Actor Shah Rukh Khan essayed the role of Negi in the movie.
Devendra Singh has been transferred to Directorate General of Performance Management in Delhi. This is a non-sensitive section which conducts periodical inspection of customs offices to check if the files and procedures are in order. periodical inspection of customs offices to check if the files and procedures are in order.

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here