The CBI on Friday carried out searches at the premises of IAS officer Udit Prakash Rai in connection with the arrest of Gopal Krishna Madhav, OSD to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in a bribery case, officials said.
Over a dozen more officers of the Delhi government are also under the agency’s scanner in the case, they said. Sources said the agency has not found Sisodia’s involvement in the case so far.
The officials said Madhav, posted in the GST department of Delhi government since October 2019, was arrested on Thursday evening on the basis of information provided by a middleman, nabbed on Wednesday, who allegedly collected bribes from transporters on his behalf.
During questioning, Madhav alleged the involvement of Rai, a 2007-batch IAS officer of Assam–Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh–Goa–Mizoram–Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, following which the agency carried out searches at his premises, they said.
The agency is also carrying out searches at the offices of Madhav and other officials of the GST department located at the ITO area, the sources said.
The agency arrested Madhav in an operation on Thursday evening, ahead of the crucial Delhi elections, after middleman Dheeraj Gupta, nabbed on February 5, claimed that he was collecting money on behalf of the former.
In addition to searching Rai’s residence in Civil Lines here, the agency is also carrying out searches at the residences of Madhav in Rohini and Dheeraj Gupta in Wazirabad area, the sources said.
A transporter had approached the CBI claiming that GST officials of the Delhi government were demanding bribes for releasing trucks.
Claiming that he had good connections with high-ranking GST officials, Gupta demanded Rs 3.5 lakh for getting the transporter’s two trucks released, they said.
The agency registered an FIR against Gupta and carried out a trap operation on Wednesday in which he was arrested while receiving Rs 2.26 lakh of the bribe amount, the officials said.
“CBI has arrested Dheeraj Gupta, a private person, who is a resident of Delhi and Gopal Krishna Madhav, Goods and Services Tax Officer in Trade and Taxes Department of Government of NCT Delhi who is also the OSD to Deputy CM of Delhi, in a bribery case of Rs. 2.26 lakh,” a CBI spokesperson said.
During the questioning, Gupta claimed that he was collecting the bribe for Madhav, a Delhi Andaman and Nicobar Island Civil Service (DANICS) cadre officer in the trade and tax department, officials said.
“It was alleged that the private person (Gupta) was acting as a middleman on behalf of some GST department officers including for the public servant (Madhav) for collecting illegal gratification from transporters for not charging GST from them,” the spokesperson said.
Madhav was immediately taken to the headquarters where he was questioned in detail by the CBI officers, officials said.
Gupta has been sent to judicial custody by a special court while Madhav will be produced before the court on Friday, they said.
Madhav, who joined the service as Head Clerk in August 2003 in the Education Department, was posted as officer on special duty (OSD) in Sisodia’s office since 2015, they said.
Reacting to the development, Sisodia tweeted, “I have come to know that the CBI has arrested a GST inspector while taking bribe. This officer was posted as OSD in my office too. CBI should ensure strictest punishment for him. I have got several such officers arrested during last five years.”
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