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CBI report leaked in Chennai to a customs official under probe
June, 24th 2013

A CBI team initiated a probe against a senior customs official - an Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officer — in Chennai a few months ago for alleged wrongdoings and was conducting a secret investigation. The agency acted against the officer on information provided by a source for which a source information report (SIR) was generated.

CBI was supposed to verify the information against the officer and send a report to the customs department. However, it did not happen due to which the customs official got a promotion. The story doesn't end here. The agency's Chennai unit recently registered a case against the same officer - former joint commissioner (central excise and service tax) A Cletus - in a separate matter and raided his premises. CBI officials were shocked to find the SIR of that previous probe from Cletus's house. The recovery of SIR from a suspect's place has sent shockwaves in the CBI headquarters in Delhi, as it is being considered a 'major leak'.

Baffled with the leak of the SIR, the top brass has ordered a probe as it is being suspected that their officials from Chennai are hand in glove with the customs officer. Delhi's Anti-Corruption Unit has registered a preliminary enquiry into the matter and a former superintendent of police of CBI, now repatriated to his cadre as DIG, is being investigated among other Chennai CBI officers. A team from Delhi is also leaving soon to interrogate Chennai CBI officials and go into the leak.

CBI sources said they will question the former SP of Chennai, who was in-charge of the SIR, which was found with Cletus in another raid. After the incident, Cletus has been reportedly transferred from Chennai.

A senior officer in the Anti-Corruption Unit told TOI, "In the fresh case registered by Chennai unit, when we conducted the raid, we found the photocopies of SIR. Somebody from our Chennai unit was definitely in touch with the customs officer. It's a serious matter because if the SIR reaches an accused or suspect, then it gives him or her advantage of destroying the evidence. We believe that somebody was in touch with the customs officer through the probe."

After repeated attempts, nobody from the Central Board of Excise and Customs in Delhi responded.

CBI director Ranjit Sinha has lately started a clean-up exercise in the agency and has asked his deputies to not spare any corrupt officer in the agency.

Recently, superintendent of police investigating the Coalgate scam Vivek Dutt was arrested by CBI for allegedly taking bribe from a private person through an inspector in the agency. Dutt was probing Coalgate cases since the investigation began last year.

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