NEW DELHI : The founder of India's leading domestic mobile handset maker has been arrested and taken into custody over allegations that he bribed local civic officers, reports said Thursday.
Five govt officials were also arrested alongside Rajesh Agarwal, one of the founders of Micromax Informatics and co-owner. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said the officials were accused of "demanding and accepting" a bribe of $50,000 from Agarwal and a business associate, Manish Tuli. All five were remanded in the federal police agency's custody until August 19 by a court in New Delhi Wednesday, the PTI reported.
Corruption is a raging issue in the country with the ruling Congress coalition dogged by a series of scandals including charges that cut-rate allocation of second-generation telecoms infrastructure may have cost the exchequer $31 billion.
A survey last month by the global anti-graft watchdog Transparency International found 36 percent of Indians believed giving bribes was the only way to obtain a service in the country.
Agarwal and Tuli were allegedly caught "while offering the bribe to public servants", according to a statement released by CBI shortly after their arrest last week. "The CBI laid a trap and arrested the accused persons along with bribe money," it said.
Micromax officials were not immediately available for comment. Local media reports said the men had entered a deal with the engineers of the Delhi civic body to obtain administrative clearance to open a banquet hall in the northwest of the city.
Micromax is the top domestic handset maker with a 19 percent share in the Indian smartphone market, global research firm International Data Corporation said in a quarterly industry report released in June.
Samsung leads the Indian market with a 32 percent share.
The Indian compnay has enjoyed significant success with its smart phones which are rich in technical features and comparatively low cost.