ED files police complaint against DVAC over ‘illegal’ search at its Madurai office
The complaint relates to an overnight search on December 1-2 at ED’s sub-zonal office in Madurai after the arrest of enforcement officer (EO) Ankit Tiwari on bribery charges
CHENNAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a police complaint against Tamil Nadu’s vigilance department officials who carried out searches at the federal agency’s Madurai office, accusing the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) of criminal trespass, stealing and taking copies of sensitive documents and allowing unauthorised people to conduct an illegal search of its office on December 1.
The ED complaint was filed by the agency’s assistant director based at its Madurai office, Brijesh Beniwal. In a 16-page complaint on Saturday, ED asked Tamil Nadu director general of police Shankar Jiwal to ensure that a first information report (FIR) was filed against the accused. HT has reviewed a copy of ED’s complaint.
The complaint relates to an overnight search on December 1-2 at ED’s sub-zonal office in Madurai after the arrest of enforcement officer (EO) Ankit Tiwari after he allegedly received a ₹20 lakh bribe from a government doctor in Dindigul district to close a case registered by the agency in 2020. The searches went on overnight and concluded on December 2.
In its complaint, ED said only four DVAC officers and two witnesses were authorised to conduct the search but 35 people including some who claimed to be from the police along with “media and mob forcefully entered” their Madurai office. They were reluctant to provide their identity cards except for M Sathyaseelan, DVAC Madurai branch’s deputy superintendent of police (DSP).
They “accessed the sensitive case records, information and internal documents of ED related to other cases which have no link with the alleged search case,” ED’s complaint said. It underscored that the agency recorded its protest in the panchnama (a legal document that records an account of proceedings and evidence) filed by the DVAC team.
According to the panchnama, Beniwal refused to cooperate with DVAC and prevented officials from entering Ankit Tiwari’s room, forcing DVAC to seek the local police’s help with their cameraman.
DVAC said they seized three incriminating documents from a steel bureau numbered “3” in Tiwari’s room. It includes an Enforcement Case Information Report from 2020 against Dr Suresh Babu, chief civil surgeon of the government Dindigul Hospital who complained against Ankit Tiwari.
The doctor approached DVAC on November 30, a day after Tiwari allegedly claimed to have received instructions to investigate him and demanded ₹3 crore to close the case, according to the FIR filed on November 30.
The FIR alleged Tiwari finally agreed to a ₹51 lakh bribe and the doctor paid the first instalment of ₹20 lakh on December 1 which was recorded on camera, leading to Tiwari’s arrest on the Dindigul-Madurai highway.
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