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Chargesheet against three central excise officials
December, 15th 2012

The Anti-Corruption Bureau of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI-ACB) on Friday filed a chargesheet against three officials of the Central Excise Department who allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from a hotelier for settling service dues to the tune of Rs 15 lakh in May this year.

Ramdas Bapurao Gaikwad, partner, Hotel Gandharva in Chakan, had lodged a complaint with the CBI-ACB, Pune.

Following the complaint, the ACB team caught three Central Excise Department officials red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 1.25 lakh from Gaikwad. The ACB registered an offence against the officers superintendent Vidyadhar Vasudeo Joshi (56), assistant commissioner Pradeep Vishnu Angachekar, who retired in September after superannuation, and inspector Vinaya Ajay Kale (45), all attached to the service tax cell of the Central Excise Department in Akurdi.

The investigation officer Inspector D K Bali on Friday submitted the chargesheet dated December 12 in the special court (CBI) through special public prosecutor Ayyub Pathan.

According to the chargesheet, complainant Gaikwad was providing services like lodging, outdoor catering and renting out meeting hall to customers since 2007. He came to know in 2011 that service tax was applicable on hotel business and so he submitted his balance sheets for five years to excise officers Joshi and Kale. The officers asked him to pay the tax along with five years’ penalty, amounting to Rs 15 lakh.

The suspects demanded Rs 5 lakh bribe for settling the dues. After negotiations, they agreed to settle the matter for Rs 2.5 lakh.

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