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Over 1,100 State employees involved in liquor scam: ACB

N. Rahul
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They were named in a 30-page report submitted to the High Court

B. Prasada Rao
B. Prasada Rao

A whopping 1,100 government personnel have been identified by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for disciplinary action or prosecution in the liquor syndicates scam that rocked the State in January last. They were named in a 30-page report submitted by the ACB to the High Court on Wednesday. The government sought four weeks to reply to the recommendations.

The ACB recommended four types of action: 1) prosecution of staff deeply involved in the scam and against whom there was conclusive evidence 2) referring to the tribunal for disciplinary proceedings the staff whose involvement was deep enough but with no evidence to prosecute them 3) referring to the Commissioner for Enquiries staff who played a marginal role and 4) departmental action against those who played a much less role.

The submission of the report has brought to an end investigation in the case, Director General of ACB B. Prasada Rao told The Hindu . He said 48 cases had been booked on the basis of entries in books maintained by syndicates as well as lifting of stocks by proxy from the depots of AP Beverages Corporation. The books contained information on payment of bribes to officials while the proxy mode of lifting stocks was adopted to screen real owners of outlets. The stocks were lifted by ‘benami’ owners in whose names the shops were allotted as the real owners participated in multiple bidding due to operation of one person-one shop norm. They were mostly workers or relatives of the actual owners and people with poor financial background. Mr. Rao said 133 persons were arrested, including 45 leaders and 33 members of syndicates, 21 accountants in the shops, 23 excise and 10 police officials and 1 other individual. Of them, 73 were arrested for collecting or paying bribes, 25 for criminal misconduct and 35 for acting as benami. Criminal misconduct was by way of adding partners to the shops after the bidding process was completed.

The investigation pertained to the licence period for 2010-12 and no fresh cases were booked or persons arrested after the shops were sold by lottery system in June, Mr. Rao added.

ACB Director B. Shivadhar Reddy said that permission to prosecute was sought against 90 out of 1,100 plus persons named in the report. Prosecution would be straightaway launched against private persons, including leaders and members of syndicates involved in the scam.


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