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ACB files case against Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, others for seeking Rs 1 cr bribe

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Mumbai, Feb 5 (PTI) The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered an offence against an Assistant Commissioner of State Tax and some other officers of the Maharashtra GST department for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 1 crore from a company's director to settle a pending tax matter, an official said on Monday.

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The offence under section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered by the ACB Mumbai unit against Arjun Suryawanshi, Assistant Commissioner of State Tax (Investigation Branch), and other officers on Friday (February 2), the official said.

The section 7 of the anti-corruption Act deals with offence relating to public servant being bribed.

The FIR was registered after a letter was written by Special Commissioner of State Tax and Chief Vigilance Officer to Maharashtra Director General of Police (ACB) seeking investigation into alleged corruption by officers of the investigation branch of the state tax, he said.

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During probe it came to light that Suryawanshi and his team had conducted raids between July 5 and August 7 last year on a firm, which had an outstanding tax of more than Rs 20 crore, said the official.

Despite several reminders, the firm's director did not pay the pending tax, following which GST department officials visited his office and residence also, he said.

On August 21, Assistant Commissioner Suryawanshi allegedly sent a WhatsApp message demanding Rs 1 crore from the director of the firm to settle the tax matter, said the official.

The bribe demand was confirmed (though no money exchanged hands) during investigation after which the FIR was registered, he said, adding further probe was underway. PTI DC RSY

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