Why CBI functionaries making hue and cry: TDP leader on bribery case

Hyderabad: A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accused the Andhra Pradesh government of being allegedly non-cooperative in the probe of a bribery case, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) spokesperson Lanka Dinakar on Saturday questioned why certain functionaries of the agency were making a hue and cry over an official, already booked by the state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

“After the withdrawal of general consent by Andhra government to the CBI, MK Ramneswar, CBIC Superintendent, was booked by the state government’s ACB. He was caught with the cooperation of CBI SP, who gave information to the ACB and fully cooperated with the agency. Why are some CBI functionaries raising a hue and cry?” Dinakar told ANI.

On Friday, the CBI had shared details of a bribery case and claimed that the Andhra Pradesh government did not provide its consent for timely action against the accused in the case, and instead shared the confidential details with the state ACB.

Criticising this alleged non-cooperation by the state, the probe agency claimed that this would only make the fight against corruption more difficult for the anti-corruption agencies and mutual trust between the agencies would be eroded.

Sharing the details of the case, a press release informed that the CBI, ACB, Visakhapatnam had received a written complaint from one K Lokesh Babu of Machilipatnam on Wednesday, 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 the 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.

The CBI had 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under Section 6 of DSPE Act to enable CBI to register the case and lay the trap as the Government of Andhra Pradesh had withdrawn the General Consent on November 8, 2018.

The request for consent for action by the 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 claimed that Andhra Pradesh government did not issue the specific consent as requested by the CBI and instead the details were shared by the Home Department with the state’s ACB that laid a trap on the evening of November 30 against the CBIC official by using the contents of the CBI’s request letter.

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