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Assistant Commissioner Central Excise claimed he will get case settled through PMO official

New Delhi: An Assistant Commissioner of the Central Excise, arrested by the CBI in Mumbai recently for allegedly taking bribe from a hotelier to “settle” an ED case, had claimed he will get the work done through an IAS officer in the Prime Minister’s Office, according to the agency.

Representative image
Representative image

Ashok Nayak, Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise (Large Taxpayers’ Unit), was arrested by the CBI on May 7 for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 12 crore from Mumbai-based Raju Shetty, who runs a hotel, for settling a case of Enforcement Directorate against him.

Nayak got promotion to Assistant Commissioner on ad-hoc basis in 2014, is scheduled to retire from service next month.

The CBI in order to verify claims of Shetty, the complainant, had wired him with hidden voice tapping device before their meeting.

In his statement before the CBI giving details of his meeting with Nayak, Shetty had claimed that he along with the son of the hotel owner met Nayak in his office. Nayak allegedly demanded Rs 12 crore from them for settling the matter pending with the Enforcement Directorate.

“Ashok Nayak informed us that he was doing the work through an IAS officer from PM office and finally demanded Rs 1.25 crore from each of us as first installment…,” Shetty told the CBI.

The meeting with Nayak took place at his office on the 30th floor of World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai on May 5 as part of the CBI trap operation.

The CBI has not only equipped Shetty with hidden recorder but also deployed a witness and its personnel who were keeping a watch outside the office where the meeting took place.

The recordings done through the hidden recorders provided by the CBI “corroborated” Shetty’s version, the agency has claimed in its verification report.

The recorder has been sealed and will be used a evidence against Nayak by the CBI.

Shetty has alleged that in 2016, he had received a notice from the office of the Enforcement Directorate.

In April, a person approached him allegedly asking him to meet the assistant commissioner at his office in World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, he said.

The CBI has alleged that the complainant was told to arrange 25-30 per cent of the Rs 12 crore bribe amount within one or two days as first instalment.

“The CBI laid a trap and the assistant commissioner was caught while accepting a bribe of Rs 1.25 crore. During investigation, the accused informed the CBI that he was to deliver this bribe amount to a private person,” he said.

Gaur said Rs 1.25 crore (approx) was handed over to the said person who was also caught with the amount.

“Searches were conducted at the residence of the public servant which revealed incriminating documents,” he said.

PTI
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