CBI nabs GST Commissioner, 8 others in Kanpur over graft

The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested a commissioner of the GST Department and eight others in Kanpur city, including his staff and private officials, in connection with a bribery case.

Goods and Services Tax Commissioner Sansar Chand is a 1986 batch Indian Revenue Service officer. His wife Avinash Kaur is also named in the First Information Report but has not been arrested

According to agency sources, Chand, two superintendents of the department, one personal staff and five private people were nabbed by the CBI in a late-night operation on Friday spread across Kanpur and Delhi.

It is alleged that the commissioner was a "habitual" offender, taking bribes from businessmen on monthly and weekly basis, and it during one such collection of Rs1.5 lakh he was nabbed.

The man who allegedly gave the bribe has also been taken into custody, reports said.

The arrests were made after the CBI received several complaints of bribery against the IRS officer and his staff.

"It was alleged in the complaints that the officer Sansar Chand, his two superintendents, and one of his office staff besides five private persons used to take bribes from individuals and businessmen. Recently, the IRS officer had taken a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh from some local businessman," CBI sources said, adding that the agency has started further investigation in this regard.

The eight other accused have been identified as Ajay Srivastava and Aman Shah, and Rajeev Singh Chandel, all superintendents, GST and central excise; Saurabh Pandey, office staff GST and central excise vommissionerate, Manish Sharma, director of Shishu Soap and Chemical Pvt Ltd, private individuals Amit Awasthi, Aman Jain, and Chandra Prakash alias Monu.

Sansar used to run an organised and systematic bribery racket. Kanpur based entrepreneurs and industrialists were told that if regular bribe was paid then no action would be taken even if no GST is paid.

"Bribes were collected by three superintendents and money was transferred via `hawala' to GST Commissioner's wife Avinash Kaur. Businessmen were asked to deliver mobile phones, fridges, expensive TV sets to commissioners wife.''

The agency has booked them under the charges of criminal conspiracy of Indian Penal Code and provisions of Prevention of Corruption act.