The CBI Tigress In Dominica
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 3 Jun 2021, 1:16 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
Looks may be deceptive. None exemplifies this better than 2005-batch IPS officer, Sharda Raut who has been tasked with bringing Mehul Choksi back to India.
- IPS officer Sharda Raut
She could easily be passed off for a middle-class housewife, had she draped herself in a saree. Make no mistake. Slightly plump, dusky and diminutive with neatly knitted hair parted in the middle, Sharda Raut, is the head of Banking Frauds Department of the CBI.
The lady in Khaki, is presently in the Dominica Republic leading Government of India’s efforts to extradite Mehul Choksi, the fugitive Indian businessman, wanted in Rs 13500 crore Punjab National Bank Scam.
She is part of a team of eight officers who reached to Caribbean Island Nation Dominica earlier this week, where the fugitive had been arrested while trying to flee from Antigua. The team consist of two members each from Ministry of External Affairs, Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Central Reserve Force (Commando).
An expert in investigating banking frauds, Ms Raut is armed with all the documentary evidence against Choksi. The documents are to be put before the Dominican Court hearing the case against Mehul. It is her job to conclusively convince the court about the extent of financial fraud played on the Government of India and also of Mehul’s role in the scam.
In fact, Raut’s team has crossed the first hurdle. They have already convinced Governments of both Antigua and Dominica about Mehul Choksi’s culpability. Prime Ministers of both the countries have already announced that they don’t want Choksi and he should be deported to India. But, that would be possible with Court’s concurrence.
Who is Sharda Raut?
Ms. Raut hails from the Nasik district of Maharashtra and is a graduate in Commerce. She got selected as an IPS officer in 2005 and was first posted as the DCP, Nagpur division. Since then only she had proved herself as one the finest officer, the force could ask for.
Raut, a 2005 batch IPS officer from Maharashtra cadre was promoted as DIG CBI in March last year. If all goes well in the courts of Dominica, Ms. Raut will not only bring Choksi back to Indian soil but ensure his conviction in Indian courts as well.
During her career, she dealt with caste conflicts and crimes in the area and got significant success. The officer also had a key role in handling all the illegal activities in the dance bars of Mira Road. Besides that, she had a great success in all her postings like Mumbai’ License division, Palghar, Kolhapur Nandurbar etc.
In an interview to a local TV channel she said, “The only areas where people need immediate help are medical & police. Our job requires passion and everyday poses new challenges for you. If you are passionate, you won’t sit silent.”
Choksi is the owner of Geetanjali Diamond and is suspected to be involved in colluding with two employees of PNB for a multi-crore fraud along with Modi. He has been declared fugitive by the Indian government and facing charges of criminal conspiracy, breach, cheating & Money laundering etc.
In 2018, a non-bailable warrant was issued against him after which he fled to Antigua and acquired its citizenship. Ever since he was evading Indian law enforcement agencies on the pretext of bad health although a Red Corner Notice had already been issued by the Interpole against him. He wanted Indian agencies to ‘interview’ him in Antigua only but agencies feared getting caught in lengthy legal processes for extraditing an ‘Antigua citizen’.
He was however, honey-trapped into leaving Antigua and enter Dominica without valid travel papers. He was arrested in Dominica for trying to flee to Cuba through waters. Now onus is on Sharda Raut’s team to expose his lies before the Domnican Court.
END OF THE ARTICLE