Chandigarh: CBI officials on Saturday whisked away the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research`s (NIPER) officiating director in Punjab`s Mohali town even as he was holding a press conference regarding the institute.
Professor K.K. Bhutani was taken away as he was interacting with the media on the NIPER campus in Mohali, 10 km from here.
The action by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials followed Friday`s raids by agency teams on offices and residences of senior NIPER officers in Mohali and other places in connection with a multi-crore rupee corruption scam.
Eight officials and others were booked in the scam related to the purchase of database "SciFinder" at exorbitant rates, leading to a major loss to the state exchequer.
The raids were held at 22 places in Chandigarh, Mohali, Bathinda, Kurukshetra, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, New Delhi and Bhopal.
The CBI officials neither confirmed nor denied whether Bhutani was being arrested.
On Friday, the CBI had conducted simultaneous raids at various places and registered cases against eight senior officials, including Bhutani, NIPER`s registrar-cum-chief vigilance officer P.J.P. Waraich, former NIPER director P. Rama Rao, ex-deputy registrar Rajesh Moza, professor Saranjit Singh and section officer Hardeep Singh.
Functionaries of a Pune-based private firm and others were also booked by the CBI.
All of them have been charged for corruption, cheating, forgery, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy in the scam, a CBI official said here.
The CBI had claimed to have recovered documents of bank balance of Rs.25 lakh, fixed deposits (FDs) worth Rs.13 lakh and documents of properties worth Rs.50 lakh from Bhutani`s residence.
Documents related to five properties worth Rs.1.5 crore were recovered from Waraich`s residence.