CBI raids GST Office in Delhi after arresting Manish Sisodia’s OSD, IAS officer also raided

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The probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the alleged corruption in connection with GST is moving towards a direction where it appears that an organised racket was being operated by the officials of Delhi Government.

During the questioning of Manish Sisodia’s OSD, Gopal Krishna Madhav and middleman Dheeraj Gupta, the CBI gathered evidence that many other officials working with the GST (Goods and Services) department are involved in corruption, after which the CBI carried out raids at the GST office in national capital.

The federal probe agency also conducted searches at the official and residential premises of Udit Prakash Rai, an IAS officer who is posted as Additional Commissioner in GST department of Delhi Government. Sources say that his statement was also recorded by the agency. Initial probe by the agency indicates collusion of Delhi government bureaucrats with middlemen in GST evasion. Some officials present during raids at GST office were also questioned and their statements were recorded.

Udit Prakash Rai is Union Territory cadre officer who was transferred from Andaman & Nicobar Islands to Delhi in 2019. Along with his office, his residential premise in Civil Lines was also searched by the CBI.

Sources have told India Today that Gopal Krishna Madhav, a GST officer and OSD (Officer on Special Duty) to Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia came under scanner of CBI after a transporter informed the agency that GST officials are demanding bribe to release his trucks without paying the tax. The agency was told that complainant’s two trucks were seized by the GST officials and they were demanding Rs 3 lakhs to release without paying GST.

The CBI, working on the information, first started surveillance on a private person Dheeraj Gupta who was acting as middleman for the GST officials. When Rs 2.26 lakh was being given to Gupta, the CBI officers caught him red-hand and he was placed under arrest on February 5. Dheeraj during the questioning told the CBI that he was collecting money for the bureaucrats and other GST officials. Middleman Dheeraj Gupta reportedly told the CBI that a transporter whose truck was seized by GST department, recently had paid a bribe of Rs two lakh to get it released.

CBI then came across involvement of Gopal Krishna Madhav, the GST officer and OSD of Deputy CM and he was arrested on February 6.

The arrested accused Gopal Krishan Madhav is posted in GST since October 2019. He was selected in February 2003 by DSSB as head clerk and worked with the education department till 2005. Later on, from November 2005 till 2009 November, Madhav was working as inspector Food & Supplies. From 2009 November till March 2010, he was head clerk with Pay and Accounts Department.

Sources within the agency say that it appears to be a big racket of officials involved in corruption over GST. As arrests and raids have taken place just before the Delhi polls, many are also questioning the timing of raids.

However Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister in Delhi Government said, “it’s good that CBI has made an arrest. In last 5 years, even I have got many such corrupt officials arrested. I don’t want to get into politics over corruption.”

Source : https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/cbi-raids-gst-office-delhi-manish-sisodia-1644348-2020-02-07

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