Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has registered a case in connection with bribery case involving Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) officials in Mumbai and private persons, will question the accused persons named in their FIR to ascertain who were the CBFC officials connived with them in seeking the bribe. The CBI will also extensively probe the transactions in the bank accounts of the accused persons.
The agency had booked M Merlin Menaga, Jeeja Ramdas, Rajan M, unknown public servants of CBFC and other unknown private persons in the case.
The CBI complaint
According to the CBI, a complaint dated October 3, 2023, had been received from Jagadeeshwaran K, manager of Tamil and Telugu actor Vishal Krishna. The verification of allegations mentioned in the complaint revealed that in September 2023, Menaga entered into a criminal conspiracy with the other accused to obtain a bribe of ₹7 lakh to get the required censor certificate from CBFC for the movie "Mark Antony" dubbed in Hindi.
The criminal conspiracy by misusing power
"In furtherance of the said criminal conspiracy, she initially demanded bribes on behalf of CBFC Mumbai officials amounting to ₹7 lakh from the complainant and subsequently after negotiation she accepted ₹6.54 lakh in two bank accounts of Jeeja and Rajan. Thereafter on September 26, 2023, the required certificate was issued by CBFC for the movie. The verification further revealed that in addition to the above mentioned amount, Menaga obtained ₹20,000 in her bank account from the account of the victim as coordinating fees for herself. Out of ₹6.54 lakh, ₹6.50 lakh were immediately withdrawn in cash,” the CBI had stated in its FIR.
Searches were conducted at four different locations including in Mumbai at the premises of accused and others associated with the accused which led to recovery of incriminating documents, agency officials had said on Thursday.