The fight between the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Andhra Pradesh government has taken an interesting turn after the CBI accused the state government of leaking information to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) which later claimed credit for the arrest of a central government employee.
According to reports, the CBI on Friday said that the state government not only stopped it from laying a trap against a central government official who was seeking bribe but also leaked the information to its Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which acted on the complaint and laid the trap against the same government official.
The CBI issued a statement on Friday said that such an attitude by the state government will make the fight against corruption “difficult”. The CBI had received a written complaint from a Machilipatnam resident named Lokesh Babu on November 28 alleging that Mukku Kali Ramaneswar, Superintendent of the Central Tax & Central Excise was seeking bribe in a tax-related case.
Soon after receiving the letter, the CBI Superintendent of police, Visakhapatnam had written a ‘top-secret’ letter to the principal secretary of Home department. In its letter, the CBI had requested to keep the information strictly confidential and not to share the information with any other party.
“However, the government of AP did not issue the specific consent as requested by the CBI, instead the details were shared by the home department with state ACB, which laid a trap on 30-11-2018 in the evening against the above Central government employee by using the contents of the above request letter,” the CBI said . The CBI further added that the state ACB also issued a press release as if the complainant has directly approached them.
The CBI revealed that its senior officials have personally called Principal secretary on November 29, and had requested early consent required under section 6 of the DSPE Act to act against the central government official. The CBI had also said that it had sent another letter to the principal secretary with a copy to the Chief Secretary on Friday seeking immediate issuance of consent. But the state government didn’t accede to the CBI request, it said.
The ACB had raided the office of Ramaneswar and had caught him while he was accepting bribe money at his office in Machilipatnam. The ACB officials recovered the amount after he was tested positive in phenolphthalein test.
The Andhra Pradesh government, through an order, issued dated 8 November 2018, has withdrawn the ‘General Consent’ given to CBI to act against central government officials working under the jurisdiction of the state government.