The Directorate of Vigilance and Ant-Corruption (DVAC) had informed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about the arrest of a Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer Ankit Tiwari for accepting a bribe of Rs 20 lakh from Dr Suresh Babu, the chief civil surgeon at the Dindigul Government Medical College and Hospital, reported The Hindu.
Quoting a senior police officer, the report stated, “We informed the Joint Director, CBI, in writing about the arrest of the Enforcement Directorate officer and the searches that followed.
"The information was shared as per the DVAC manual. The investigation can be handed over to the CBI…but since the Tamil Nadu government has withdrawn the general consent for the central agency to operate in the State, we will continue the probe.”
In the wake of the searches, questions had been raised about the power of the DVAC (a state agency) to investigate a case against an ED (central government) officer.
Regarding this, the report stated that the officer said that it could take action to set up a 'trap' in order to catch a central government officer red handed if there is no time to inform the Delhi Special Police Establishment Division, i.e., the CBI.
The CBI should then be informed and a decision should be taken on whether the state agency or the CBI must do the investigation.
About the searches, the officer said that according to the DVAC manual, if there was a likelihood of damage/disappearance of evidence, it could take measures to secure the evidence and then hand it over to the CBI.
He added that the procedure mentioned in the criminal procedure code was followed for carrying out the searches and the designated court was informed.
Further, he said that when the DVAC team reached the office around 2 PM and informed that they had arrived to conduct searches, they were told to wait as a senior officer would come from Chennai.
But as nobody came even after three hours and personnel from the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) were brought in and fearing that they were being prevented from carrying out their duty, the DVAC team alerted the local police and entered the premises, he said.
Law Minister S Reghupathy said that the state government headed by Chief Minister MK Stalin would decide whether the case should be handed over to the CBI or not.
S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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