Noose tightens on GST officer

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Investigators probing the Disproportionate Assets (DA) case registered against Bollineni Srinivasa Gandhi, Superintendent with the Central GST Commissionerate Anti Evasion Wing, has found that he used to share details of high profile cases with key politicians of Telugu Desam Party. According to sources, after his tenure as Assistant Director in Enforcement Directorate(ED) in Hyderabad, Gandhi managed to get posted as Superintendent of GST Anti-Evasion Wing and took up the investigation into the fake invoices scam of Sujana Group involving about Rs 2,000 crore. Sources said Gandhi was found to be giving all inputs to Sujana Group and was successfully scuttling the investigation. Though there were several complaints against him, he continued to remain in prime posts using political clout. Gandhi was reportedly instrumental in allotting the cases to various officers in ED though it was the duty of the Joint Director. He himself used to hold charges of all important sections despite having competent officers. He used to handle high profile cases and those related to his community and region, the sources said.

According to sources, Gandhi did favours to his people by issuing show-cause notices for small violations ignoring serious ones under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and thereby closing the case files. He was also found to be extending consultancy services to suspects/violators from a legal firm floated by some retired officers of Customs and Central Excise Department. Gandhi’s wife Sireesha, who is one of the partners in the firm, was giving advice and drafting replies to the violators. Several cases that were closed by Gandhi for pecuniary benefit without proper investigation would be reinvestigated, sources said. Gandhi investigated cases of the Phoenix Group belonging to Chukkapalli Suresh where a penalty was imposed by the adjudicating authority for some minor issues ignoring serious lapses. He was also associated with the investigation of cases against Sukesh Gupta of Musaddilal Bhagwan Swaroop Jewellers that caused a loss of about Rs 200 crore to the Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation Limited.

He was part of the team that probed the case related to Musaddilal Jewellers pertaining to the deposit of Rs 130 crore in banks after demonetisation along with other groups including the Sujana Group. Despite being the investigating officer for several high-profile cases, he allegedly failed to bring them to a logical conclusion even after five years. Sources said the CBI would not only probe the DA case that was booked against Gandhi but also the information that he allegedly leaked to his contacts while serving as Superintendent of GST in Hyderabad. The premier investigating agency is examining the documents that were seized during the searches carried out on the properties belonging to Gandhi in Hyderabad and Vijayawada.

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