Three senior excise officials held for bribery

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) The CBI has arrested three senior Central Excise department officials for taking bribe from a businessman for reducing the duty and penalty to be imposed on his company, an official said on Tuesday.

Those arrested are Anil Kumar, Ajay Kumar and Ravinder Dahia.

While Anil Kumar and Ajay Kumar were superintendents in audit section of Central Excise department in Sonepat, Haryana, Dahia was Inspector in the same department.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesperson R.K. Gaur said the agency officials laid a trap following the complaint of the businessman and arrested the government officials for accepting Rs. 3 lakh from him.

The businessman had alleged that the Excise officials on February 13 conducted audit in his company and raised many objections like double billing, evasion of excise duty and others.

“After audit, the officials informed the businessman to impose Rs 25-30 lakh penalty on his company. Later, they allegedly demanded Rs 10 lakh bribe from him in order to minimise the duty and penalty. The bribe amount was then reduced to Rs 9 lakh after negotiation and they agreed to accept Rs 3 lakh in first instalment,” Gaur said in a statement.

The CBI officer said the agency also conducted searches at the official and residential premises of the government officials in Gurugram and Delhi and recovered Rs 9.2 lakh case, 1 kg gold and some property documents.

“Certain bank accounts and lockers were also found in the raid. The arrested accused were on Tuesday produced in the competent court at Panchkula, Haryana,” the officer said.