ANANTAPUR: In an unprecedented action, the Anti-Corruption Bureau raided the income-tax office in Anantapur and allegedly trapped A. Rajasekhar Goud, the office superintendent, on the charge of accepting a bribe of Rs 25,000 from an auditor to clear tax refund here on Thursday.
The action comes amid a raging controversy between the state government and the Centre. The government has withdrawn general consent for the CBI in AP, amid allegations that the Centre was misusing its agencies to file cases on ruling party politicians in AP. This is a repeat of an incident on December 1, 2018, where the AP ACB arrested a Central excise officer.
Raiding Central government personnel is generally seen as CBI territory.
Regarding Thursday’s action, the AP ACB claimed that its Central Investigating Unit at Amaravati had received a complaint by an auditor, Mr Niranjan Babu. He had claimed that Rajasekhar Goud had sought the bribe to put up the tax refund file pertaining to his client for release of 20 per cent disputed tax of Rs 2.09 lakh.
This money had been deposited by the complainant while appearing on the orders of the ITO. Subsequently, favourable orders had been passed by the appellate authority on an appeal made by Mr Babu.
Sources said the ACB team from Amaravati raided the I-T office and trapped the office superintendent while allegedly accepting the bribe to do an official favour.
The I-T assistant commissioner reportedly objected to the involvement of the ACB, a state government unit, in raiding a Central government department office. Sources said the ACB officers told him that they had the right to conduct the raid based on an Ordinance passed by the state.
When contacted, local ACB sleuths said they were not aware of the raid.