Lokayukta police uses new powers to effect first central official arrest

Indore: In a first, The Lokayukta police arrested a central official red-handed while he accepted a bribe of Rs 50,000, using the new powers that authorize it to do so.

Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta Prakash Prabhakar Naolekar</em
Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta Prakash Prabhakar Naolekar

On Tuesday, Lokayukta police of Madhya Pradesh caught Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax department’s Superintendent Kavindra Singh Chouhan while he accepted a bribe of Rs 50,000 from transporter Asgar Khan.

However, Lokayukta police has to hand over the case to CBI, before production of charge sheet in the court. They are only authorised to arrest any corrupt central government officials functioning under their jurisdiction.

In a notification issued in 2011, the CBI authorised anti-corruption agencies in the states to arrest central government officials those seeking bribe.

According to anti-corruption agencies in states are empowered to deal with all cases of graft of central government employees under the Prevention of Corruption Act before production of charge sheet in the court.

While the CBI Manual restricted the Central agency to complaints against Central government employees, the state anti-corruption agencies dealt with those against the State government employees.

While Lokayukta police are generally not dealing with complaints against Central government employees and are asking complainants to approach the CBI.
“After receipt of the complaint, the Lokayukta police will work towards trapping the official concerned and then hand over further investigation to the CBI,” the notification says.

Lokayukta police cannot hold inquiries against central government employees, without the central government’s permission.