Andhra didn’t let us nab official seeking bribe, leaked information, alleges CBI
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday alleged that the Andhra Pradesh government did not allow it lay a trap against a central government official who was seeking a bribe. Such an attitude, the agency said, will make the fight against corruption “difficult”.
The agency, in a statement issued late on Friday, also alleged that rather than giving consent to lay the trap, the state government leaked the information to the its Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which acted on the complaint and laid the trap against the same government official.
The Andhra government on November 8 had withdrawn general consent given to the CBI to act against central government officials working under the jurisdiction of the state government.
The agency said its Visakhapatnam unit received a written complaint from a Machilipatnam resident named Lokesh Babu on November 28 alleging that a superintendent-rank official posted with the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) was seeking bribe of Rs 35000 allegedly for not raising objections in the CGST returns filed by the complainant’s firm.
It said that immediately on receipt of the written complaint, the superintendent of police, CBI, Visakhapatnam wrote a top secret letter addressed to the state principal secretary (home), and sent it by hand through a DSP rank officer of CBI. This letter was delivered to the principal secretary in the afternoon.
“In the letter, it was requested to issue specific consent to CBI to lay a trap in this particular complaint. It was also requested to keep the information strictly confidential and not to share the information with any other party,” the CBI statement said.
The agency said the SP also personally called on principal secretary at her office at Velagapudy on November 29, and requested early action in issuing the specific consent, required under section 6 of DSPE Act to enable the CBI to register the case and lay the trap given Andhra government’s withdrawal of general consent.
The agency said it sent another letter to the principal secretary with copy to the chief secretary on Friday seeking immediate issuance of consent.
But the state government didn’t accede to the CBI request, it said.
“Instead the details were shared by the home department with state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and state ACB laid a trap on the November 30 evening against the above central government public servant by using the contents of the above request letter. Further, state ACB also issued a press release as if the complainant has directly approached them,” added the CBI statement.
CBI spokesman Abhishek Dayal said the agency “regrets such non-cooperation by the state home department in this matter”.
“This will only make the fight against corruption more difficult for the anti corruption agencies and the mutual trust between the agencies will be vitiated. Corruption can be eradicated only through mutual cooperation, and trust,” he said.
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