The CBI on Saturday caught red-handed Service Tax Commissioner of Haldia port, G Shree Harsh, while accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from a company engaged in loading and offloading of cargo in his Kolkata residence.
Following a tip-off, a CBI team raided Harsh’s residence and arrested him.
The CBI claimed the amount was the last installment of Rs 20 lakh allegedly demanded by Harsh, a 1990-batch officer of Customs and Central Excise, to do favours to the company in a matter of assessment of their unpaid service tax.
The agency said the officer had conducted a “perfunctory inquiry and investigation with dishonest intent” to favour the company.
Cash worth Rs 8.54 lakh was recovered from Harsh’s residence. Documents like pass books and cheques from various bank have also been seized.
One of the directors of the company, Asgar Ali, and another person, Parvez Akhter – who carried cash to the official residence of Harsh late Friday night – have also been arrested. The agency also arrested a close aide of the officer, J Prasant Kumar, who had allegedly received the money.
The company was engaged in stevedoring and offshore cargo handling in Haldia Dock Complex.
In a statement, CIO (CBI) Kanchan Prasad, said, “We have arrested a commissioner of service tax of Haldia Commissionerate for demanding and accepting the last installment of Rs 5 lakh of the total demanded bribe of Rs 20 lakh from the directors of a pvt (sic) company engaged in stevedoring and offshore cargo handling in Haldia Dock Complex.”
Those arrested were produced before a special judge at Alipore who remanded them to five-day CBI custody.
A case under various provisions of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against them.
After the arrests, CBI carried out searches at 13 locations in Kolkata and Haldia and Hyderabad and Guntur in South India.