GST Council officer, aide arrested over graft charges

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 4, 2017

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council officer Monish Malhotra and his close aide Manas Patra, a private tax consultant, in an alleged corruption case in the national Capital. This could be the first instance of a GST Council official being arrested by the CBI. After registering the FIR, CBI teams searched the premises of Malhotra and Patra and recovered Rs 7 lakh in cash.

The CBI has said that Malhotra, the superintendent of GST Council, was recently posted in the GST Council headquarters at Jeevan Bharti Building in Delhi. Sources said Patra was allegedly working as a conduit for more central excise officials who would be probed. Patra used to make the calls to the businessmen on behalf of Malhotra.

It is alleged that Patra, on the instruction of Malhotra, had collected illegal gratification from a number of private parties in the past few days, which was to be delivered to Malhotra on Wednesday evening.

The CBI FIR alleged that Patra had deposited these money in his own account to camouflage the bribe and later transferred the money to an HDFC Bank account of Malhotra's wife Shobhna and his daughter Aiyushi's account in ICICI Bank. "The collected money is further delivered to Malhotra through cheques, NEFT or cash by routing it through various accounts".

Finance Ministry officials said Malhotra was managing correspondence from various stakeholders in the GST Council and was not in a position to deal with the public.

They said the money he was allegedly collecting was for the period when he was in the Central Excise.

A case was registered under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act on the allegations that Malhotra indulged in extending undue favours to private parties and businessmen by not taking action against them in lieu of periodical illegal gratification. "Some other officers are also under the scanner", the CBI said.

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