Published On: Fri, Mar 15th, 2019

Hands tied by AP govt, CBI can’t arrest bribery accused

Visakhapatnam: The CBI busted a case of alleged bribery by officials of Naval Dockyard in Vishakhapatnam but could not arrest the accused as the Andhra Pradesh government had withdrawn its consent to the investigation agency to operate in the state, officials said Friday.

CBI busted a case of alleged bribery by officials of Naval Dockyard in Vishakhapatnam but could not arrest the accused as the Andhra Pradesh government had withdrawn its consent to the investigation agency to operate in the state, officials said.

The Chandrababu Naidu government had withdrawn the ‘general consent’ accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to exercise its authority in the state on November 8 last year.

The case pertains to the alleged demand of a bribe by Garrison Engineer Prashant Shivhare, Assistant Garrison Engineer KSR Someswara Rao and Junior Engineer Rama Rao, all posted at Naval Dockyard, from a contractor.

The contractor company handled electrical, fabrication, maintenance work on contract basis in naval establishments in and around Visakhapatnam.

In January this year, a tender was floated for repairs of various buildings at the Naval Dockyard in Vishakhapatnam for which the company had placed a bid of Rs 25.35 lakh.

In response, Someswara Rao had told the company that its bid was opened on February 4 and some rates were on the higher sides which needed to be lowered, the company alleged in a complaint to the CBI which is now part of the FIR.

After receiving reduced rates, Someswara Rao allegedly demanded 10 per cent cut of quoted price as a bribe for Shivhare.

Someswara Rao also demanded five per cent as a bribe for himself and other staff members for processing bills and payments, it alleged.

The officials kept on repeating the demand for a bribe of Rs 2.50 lakh and threatened to treat the company unresponsive if the amount was not paid by the afternoon of March 14, it said.

Based on complaint, the CBI laid a trap and reached the site when alleged bribe was changing hands but could not arrest the accused because it lacked consent of the state government to take action against anyone in its jurisdiction, they said.

“The allegations mentioned in the complaint prima facie disclose the commission of cognizable offence under…PC Act,” the FIR said.

The agency noted that in view of the withdrawal of consent under section 6 of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act by Government of Andhra Pradesh, in view of the urgency of the complaint and as there was no time to take consent, the case was registered.

“The Andhra Pradesh government is being moved for consent under section 6 of the DSPE Act,” it said.

The Andhra Pradesh government had withdrawn the ‘general consent’ accorded to the CBI to exercise its authority in the state.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, the government hereby withdraw the general consent accorded (in GO Ms 109) to all the members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise the powers and jurisdiction under the said act in the state of Andhra Pradesh,” the order had said.

On August 3 last year, the state government had accorded “general consent” to all members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment i.e the CBI to exercise powers and jurisdiction against officials of the central government, central government undertakings and private persons for investigating offences under various laws, including the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI functions under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

Ever since he snapped ties with the Narendra Modi-led NDA government in March last year, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had been alleging that the centre was misusing agencies like the CBI to target political opponents.

PTI

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