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Excise duty scam: IAS officer arrested in Delhi

Joint Secy in Union Home Ministry O Ravi along with his `money keeper` were arrested in the Rs 340cr excise duty scam today.



New Delhi: Joint Secretary in Union Home
Ministry O Ravi along with his `money keeper` were arrested in
the Rs 340 crore excise duty scam on Thursday, taking the number of
those nabbed to six, including liquor baron Ashok Khemani.

Ravi, a 1983-batch IAS officer from Gujarat, was grilled
by the sleuths of the CBI for allegedly accepting a bribe of
Rs 25 lakh from the distiller on an assurance that he would
ensure transfer of present Administrator of Daman.

The CBI alleged that in order to evade the excise duty
and VAT, some distillers of Daman in connivance with the
officials of Excise department resorted to under-reporting of
production by preparing fake documents.

The distillers also resorted to unauthorised sale of
under-reported liquor bottles to the neighbouring states (Goa,
Gujarat and Maharashtra) in order to evade the excise duties
resulting in total financial loss of Rs 340 crore -- Rs 300
crore for evasion of excise duty and Rs 40 crore for evasion
of VAT to the administration of Daman and Diu, official
sources said.

The CBI also arrested Rakesh Rastogi, alleged to be
Ravi`s `money-keeper`, and claimed that the IAS officer always
kept his ill-gotten wealth with him, the sources said.

Immediately after his arrest, the CBI began searches at
various places including the home and residence of Ravi, Joint
Secretary (Disaster Management), Home Ministry and that of his
associate Rastogi.

The two were produced before a designated court here who
remanded them to four days of CBI custody.

A case under various sections of IPC and Prevention of
Corruption Act has been registered against Ravi, two excise
inspectors -- Ramesh Mahyavanshi and Vijay Halpati -- and
sub-inspector Suresh Dhodi, CBI has said.

CBI had arrested owner of Royal distilleries Ashok
Khemani and three excise officials last night. Khemani was
arrested from a posh hotel in the national capital while the
others were arrested from Daman.

Ravi is alleged have taken a bribe of Rs 25 lakh to get
the Daman administrator transferred, a CBI spokesperson said.

The directors of six distilleries -- Royal, Jupiter,
Krimpy, Silver Star and Dharmesh and some unknown persons --
were also booked for alleged fraud.

"It has been alleged that in order to evade excise duty
and VAT, the distilleries of Daman in connivance with the
officials of the Excise Department resorted to under-reporting
of production by preparing fake documents," the spokesperson
said.

CBI has conducted searches at 36 places of the accused
persons at Daman, Mumbai and New Delhi.

PTI

From Zee News

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