CBI files charge sheet against GST Commissioner in corruption case

NEW DELHI, Apr 22:
The CBI has filed a charge sheet against Commissioner, Goods and Service Tax, Sansar Chand in a corruption case, a first against a senior officer of the department, officials said here.
Besides Sansar Chand, the agency has also arrested his wife Avinash Kaur in the case last month and she has also been charge sheeted in the corruption case of receiving an alleged bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh from a Kanpur-based businessman, they said.
The Indian Revenue Service 1986-batch officer then posted in Kanpur is the first senior officer of the GST department constituted last year to face charges of corruption from the CBI, they said.
The agency has charged him and his wife along with 13 others with criminal conspiracy and corruption among others.
While Sansar Chand was arrested on February 2, 2018, his wife was arrested on March 21, 2018 and was sent to judicial custody by the Special CBI court, Lucknow.
“The investigation revealed that Sansar Chand in criminal conspiracy with others was systematically collecting illegal gratification in lieu of various officials acts in connection to matters pertaining to Central excise department under its jurisdiction in Kanpur,” an official said.
The agency in a late night operation on February 2, 2018 had arrested two superintendents of the department (Ajay Shrivastav, R S Chandel), one personal staff (Saurabh Pandey) and five private individuals, including the owner of Shishu Soaps, in a late-night operation in Kanpur and Delhi.
Besides these, five more including the wife of the officer have been charge sheeted by the agency under the corruption charges, they said adding that 11 persons have been arrested.
The agency has alleged in the charge sheet that Sansar Chand along with his subordinates used to collect bribes on monthly and quarterly basis from industrialists and businessmen, they said.
The bribes in cash were routed through hawala channels to Delhi through Aman Jain and Chander Prakash, both residents of Delhi, who used to deliver it to Chand’s wife, the CBI has alleged.
In one such case, Chand was allegedly seeking update on bribe from the owner of Shishu Soaps and Chemicals Limited, Manish Sharma, who sells his product under the brand name Rekha detergent when he was arrested, it alleged.
The bribe was received by Saurabh Pandey, the PA of Sansar Chand, on behalf of his boss and other officials from an employee of Manish Sharma, it alleged.
Sharma, who was seeking relief from the notices of the Central Excise Department, had given an assurance that he would soon pay the bribe for the months from February, 2018 to April, 2018 which was conveyed to Chand through his middleman Amit Awasthi and arrested superintendent Ajay Shrivastav, it alleged.
“Investigation has revealed that Sansar Chand and his wife Avinash Kaur had demanded and accepted various valuable things for themselves and their relatives. During investigation a total 11 persons have been arrested and all are in prison under judicial custody,” an official said.
During searches at the time of arrest, the agency had carried out searches at the premises of accused persons including public servants, private individuals, middlemen at Kanpur and Delhi which led to recovery of Rs 58 lakh and several incriminating documents including diaries, pen drives and documents of properties worth crores. (PTI)