Exclusive: How 5 'serious allegations' stalled the elevation of a top GST officer

Given that M Srinivas is holding the sensitive post of principal chief commissioner, CGST Chennai, the department is contemplating a change. In addition, the department is also probing the role of an extended family member of M Srinivas. Given the Centre's zero tolerance for corruption and misconduct, the government had taken action against many CGST officers.

By Coreena Suares  Published on  13 Sep 2022 5:15 PM GMT
Exclusive: How 5 serious allegations stalled the elevation of a top GST officer

Hyderabad: Department of Revenue, Government of India, has appointed 1988-batch IRS officers, Alok Shukla and V Rama Mathew, as members of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), an elevation of sorts. The appointment followed the superannuation of two board members, DP Nagender Kumar and Balesh Kumar, respectively.

The department of revenue rolled out the process for selection of 'Member Post' -CBIC in July 2022. It is to be underlined that amid the vacancies on the CBIC board, the department has so far appointed only two members -- Alok Shukla and V Rama Mathew.

The application of IRS officer Mandalika Srinivas - Principal Chief Commissioner of CGST, Chennai Zone, -- was among the 10 scrutinized for the CBIC member post. However, his elevation was allegedly rejected because he is facing five serious allegations. And these are being probed by multiple central agencies.

Four out of five complaints filed against officer M Srinivas were during his stint in Hyderabad as Principal Commissioner CGST for Medchal division cum in-charge Hyderabad division. One complaint dates back to the time when he was serving as Chief Commissioner of Customs, Bengaluru, a source in the North Block told NewsMeter. Officer Srinvas is the elder brother of IAS officer Girija Shankar-currently serving the state GST-Andhra Pradesh.

Allegation 1: It dates back to May 2019, when consultant N.S Ayyanagar was arrested along with former BJP Rajya Sabha member Sujana Chowdhary in Rs 250 crore GST fraud case.

N.S Ayyanagar was allegedly detained illegally by the CGST sleuth when M Srinivas was in charge of the Hyderabad division. The issue came to light when N.S Ayyanagar's wife filed a habeas corpus in a local Court seeking his whereabouts. The Additional Chief Metropolitan Court in Hyderabad directed the Station house officer, Saifabad to trace out N.S Ayyangar. The documents are in possession of NewsMeter.

After being asked to locate N.S Ayyangar, Srinivas and his team allegedly manipulated the timings in the official documents.

Allegation 2: Complaints have reached the doors of Principal Director General Vigilance – CGST regarding the departmental internal promotions and postings in Bengaluru Customs. It is alleged that 'certain' ineligible candidates were promoted while the eligible ones were left out. The complaints have also alleged 'cash-for promotion'. It is pertinent to note that the allegations pertained to 2020-21when M Srinivas was Chief Commissioner of customs, Bengaluru.

Allegation 3: Hyderabad police booked 5 top GST officers for illegally detaining a city businessman's wife.

Based on the directions of the National Commission for Women, New Delhi, Hyderabad police booked five top GST officials for 'illegally' detaining a woman for a whole night during a search operation in 2019.

Those booked include M. Srinivas and his other team of officers including Anand Kumar, CGST Commissioner-Kutch, Chilaka Sudha Rani, Deputy Commissioner CGST (under suspension), Bollineni Srinivasa Gandhi, CGST Assistant Commissioner (under suspension), and Isabella Britto, CGST Superintendent. They were booked under section 354, 341, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

The incident dates back to 2019 when the accused M Srinivas and his team were serving in the Hyderabad CGST division. Sources informed that the Punjagutta police are in the process of framing the charges.

Allegation 4: When M Srinivas, was the Medchal division Principal Commissioner and Hyderabad division in charge, many Manufacturers and traders were allegedly booked for CGST fraud.

A highly placed source told NewsMeter that several petitions were received by the Central Finance Ministry which have been forwarded to the CGST board to probe the cases booked during M Srinivas' stint.

NewsMeter has learnt that a central agency is probing how the CGST division interpreted rules to misuse the power of arrest and allegedly booked cases on assesses. Given that M Srinivas is holding the sensitive post of principal chief commissioner, CGST Chennai, the department is contemplating a change. In addition, the department is also probing the role of an extended family member of M Srinivas.

Given the Centre's zero tolerance for corruption and misconduct, the government had taken action against many CGST officers.

Given that M Srinivas is holding the sensitive post of principal chief commissioner, CGST Chennai, the department is contemplating a change. In addition, the department is also probing the role of an extended family member of M Srinivas.

Given the Centre's zero tolerance for corruption and misconduct, the government had taken action against many CGST officers.

It is pertinent to note that, following these allegations, the several notifications/circulars were issued on the principles of the GST law and guidelines of an arrest.

Allegation 5: Tainted officer Bollineni Srinivasa Gandhi ( currently under suspension) was drafted unofficially into the anti-evasion wing of the CGST Hyderabad Division. Gandhi, who has been booked for taking bribes and amassing disproportionate properties, was specifically placed under a cooling period desk job, allegedly against a complaint in 2018 by a present Chief Minister to the PMO, top brass told NewsMeter.

Given that M Srinivas is holding the sensitive post of principal chief commissioner, CGST Chennai, the department is contemplating a change. In addition, the department is also probing the role of an extended family member of M Srinivas.

Given the Centre's zero tolerance for corruption and misconduct, the government had taken action against many CGST officers. They include Principal Commissioner and Chief Commissioner rank officers, in the recent.

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