Officials of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption on Friday arrested a top official in the Department of Labour on charges of demanding and accepting Rs. 15,000 as Deepavali gift from a subordinate official, agency sources said.

Based on a complaint lodged by Assistant Labour Inspector (Nungambakkam) Ashok Kumar that Additional Commissioner of Labour Sombu Rajan (57) who has jurisdiction over Chennai City and six Northern districts, a special team of the DVAC’s City Special Unit registered a case under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and laid a trap. 

Around noon on Friday, the team led by Additional Superintendent of Police S.M. Mohamed Iqbal detained Rajan soon after he took Rs. 15,000 from the complainant in his office at Teynampet here. “We found a gold coin, silver lamp and Rs. 35,000 in the chamber of the official which he could not account for. Ashok Kumar has alleged that he already paid Rs. 10,000 and expensive clothes to the Additional Commissioner as Deepavali gifts. But the official demanded more and threatened to conduct an inspection and harass the complainant if he failed to pay..,” Mr. Iqbal told The Hindu.

A search was conducted in Rajan's residence at the Labour Officers’ Quarters in Anna Nagar. The official was produced before a special judge and remanded in judicial custody, the sources said.

In another case, unclaimed cash to the tune of Rs. 10,800 was found in a dustbin in the office of the Assistant Executive Engineer, Rural Development, Vellore, when a joint surprise check was conducted there by the DVAC and District Inspection cell officials on Friday.

During the check that lasted more than four hours, the vigilance officials seized Rs. 62,000 from the possession of the AEE S. Mahesh Kumar.

When questioned, he could not explain the source of the cash. DVAC officials seized the money and registered a case under the provisions of Section 102 of Cr.PC. Further investigation was on, the sources added.

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