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CBI raids den of corruption Nhava Sheva

AIT News Network

MUMBAI. CBEC Top Brass is in dock for posting Tapan Chakravarty as Assistant Commissioner of Customs in Nhava Sheva on promotion from Appraiser in Mumbai Customs against all norms of Transfers and Postings.

According to laid down norms an Officer cannot be posted on Promotion in the same Zone. When over 100 Officers of the rank of Assistant/Deputy Commissioners are cooling their heels in the Board Office and several Directorates for many years; it is all powerful Appraiser lobby which exercises its influence over the Members of CBEC in matters of transfer and posting and manages posting even on promotion to the rank of Assistant Commissioner to Mecca of Customs Officers i.e. Nhava Sheva. Tapan Chakravarty episode is only tip of the iceberg in the den of corruption Nhava Sheva which is the most sought after posting in Customs.

What led to CBI raids on Customs Officials is the complaint by a leading importer of tiles who was being squeezed by Customs Appraiser and the Assistant Commissioner for clearing his containers of tiles and was being asked to pay bribe for not levying Anti-dumping duty which is applicable only on import of vitrified tiles from China.

The importer first complained to the Intelligence Wing of Customs better known as CIU who reportedly recovered a cash of Rs.2 lakh only from the Appraiser but did not take any further action in the matter.

Aggrieved; the importer now complained to CBI which finally raided the Officials and recovered cash of Rs.17 lakhs from Antop Hill residence of the Assistant Commissioner of Customs Tapan Chakravarty who was head of Group III of Import handling import of sensitive items like tiles , yarns and fabrics.Further, Rs 14.80 lakh in cash and two kg of gold worth Rs 16.36 lakh was also recovered from his bank locker at the Dadar branch of Federal Bank.Had CBI raided the residences of all the Assistant Commissioners and Appraisers posted at Nhava Sheva; how much cash it would have recovered?

It is high time Members of CBEC wake up from their deep slumber and go for soul searching after this episode. Otherwise it is just the trailer and many more such episodes are in offing. First action which CBEC should take is to immediately transfer Commissioner and Additional Commissioners of Customs Nhava Sheva who were a mute spectator of such corruption. And if a Commissioner does not know (as would be claimed by him) what is happening in Nhava Sheva, he does not deserve to continue at the most sensitive place of Indian Customs.If CBEC does not act; even CBEC will be deemed as a†mute spectator of ongoing affairs.†

Transparency International has identified India as the Top rank holder in bribe giving. According to importers Nhava Sheva holds the Top rank in bribe taking.


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