CBI accuses Andhra govt of being non-cooperative in bribery case probe

Visakhapatnam: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday shared the details of a bribery case and claimed that Andhra Pradesh government did not provide its consent for a timely action against the accused in the case and instead shared the confidential details with the state Anti-Corruption Unit (ACB).

Criticising this alleged non-cooperation by the State Home Department, the probe agency, claimed that 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.

Sharing the details of the case, a press release by CBI informed that the CBI, Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), Visakhapatnam had received a written complaint from one K Lokesh Babu of Machilipatnam on Wednesday, November 28 who alleged that M. K. Ramneswar, Superintendent, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had demanded a bribe of Rs 35,000 for not raising objections in the CGST returns filed by the complainant’s firm.

Immediately on receipt of the written complaint, Superintendent of Police (SP), CBI Visakhapatnam wrote a top-secret letter addressed to the Principal Secretary (Home), Government of Andhra Pradesh on the same day and got it delivered by hand to the Principal Secretary through a Deputy SP rank officer of CBI, in the afternoon.

CBI said that the Home Secretary was requested to keep the information strictly confidential and not to share it with any other party. SP, CBI, Visakhapatnam also personally called on her and requested for an early action in issuing the specific consent under Section 6 of DSPE Act to enable CBI to register the case and lay the trap as Government of Andhra Pradesh has withdrawn the General Consent on November 8, 2018.

The request for consent for action by CBI was further followed up by another letter to Principal Secretary Home with a copy to the Chief Secretary from the Head of Zone of CBI on November, 30.
However, the CBI claims that the Andhra Pradesh government did not issue the specific consent as requested by CBI and instead the details were shared by the Home Department with state ACB that laid a trap on the evening of November 30 against the above Central Government Public Servant by using the contents of the above request letter.

The Chandrababu Naidu-led Andhra Pradesh government withdrew the ‘General Consent’ to CBI to conduct raids and carry out investigations on central establishments in Andhra Pradesh on November 8.