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CBI Initiates Action Against 3 GST Officials Over Alleged Rs 22 Lakh Bribe Demand

Last updated: 26 March 2024


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated legal action against two superintendents of central GST and another official over allegations of soliciting a hefty bribe amounting to Rs 22 lakh from a bullion trader. The incident, which unfolded in the bustling streets of Mumbai's Zaveri Bazar area, has sparked outrage and highlighted concerns over corruption within government agencies.

CBI Initiates Action Against 3 GST Officials Over Alleged Rs 22 Lakh Bribe Demand

Introduction

The accused individuals, identified as Satish Sharma and Ankur Godyan, both holding positions as superintendents of central GST, along with another unnamed officer, stand accused of demanding the bribe from the bullion trader to purportedly resolve a tax-related dispute. Sources within the CBI have disclosed that while the demand for the bribe has been established, there is no evidence to suggest that the accused officials actually accepted any illicit payments.

The investigation was triggered by a handwritten complaint received by the CBI, outlining the alleged demand for Rs 22 lakh bribe by the superintendents. According to the complainant, a prominent figure in the bullion trade in South Mumbai, the ordeal began with a summon from the GST department. Subsequent interactions with the accused officials escalated into demands for the bribe to settle the matter.

The complaint narrative unfolds with the bullion trader submitting all requisite documents at the anti-evasion office in South Mumbai, only to find himself confronted with additional summons directed at his son by Ankur Godyan. It was during these interactions that the demand for the bribe reportedly surfaced, with the accused officials threatening the trader with a substantial tax liability of Rs 3 crore if their demands were not met.

The situation further escalated when the accused officials conducted a search at the trader's office on March 15 without furnishing any legal documents. This culminated in the trader being detained at the GST office, where he was allegedly coerced into agreeing to pay the bribe within 24 hours under duress. Following this harrowing experience, the trader promptly reported the matter to the CBI, prompting discreet verification and subsequent registration of a corruption case against the accused trio.

Conclusion

The unfolding saga of alleged corruption within the central GST department has cast a shadow over the integrity of government agencies tasked with upholding tax regulations. The CBI's swift action underscores the gravity of the situation and serves as a reminder of the ongoing battle against corruption within bureaucratic structures. As investigations proceed, stakeholders eagerly await justice and reforms to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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