CBI starts enquiry into 'gift scam' at MEA
The Ministry of External Affairs has handed over the enquiry of the cases related to the alleged purchase of sub-standard materials to be given as gifts to visits heads of states of the other countries to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Earlier, a preliminary departmental inquiry could not prima facie find involvement of any official of the Ministry of External Affairs in the scam.
The case came to light following filing of RTI application by Mr. Subhash Agarwal. Under the normal process, the gifts are bought by the government from government agencies such as Cottage Industries Emporia, except in ‘special circumstances’ when purchases are also made from private contractors. In this case, the gifts were bought from private agencies by the ministry's protocol division.