The CBI will soon announce a reward of Rs one lakh for providing information on IRS officer Santosh Karnani who is absconding since October 4 after his name surfaced in Rs 30 lakh alleged bribery case, officials said. The central probe agency has also moved a special court seeking a warrant against the officer as he has "not joined the investigation" after four notices from the CBI, they said.
The officer posted as Additional Income Tax Commissioner Class-I in Ahmedabad had allegedly demanded Rs 30 lakh bribe from a builder on October 3 to be channelled through 'Dhara Angadia Firm' in the city. The builder had complained to the Anti-Corruption Branch of Ahmedabad Police, which launched a trap operation on October 4, but the officer allegedly managed to give them a slip, they said.
Karnani was transferred to Guwahati nearly a week after the trap operation but he has not joined the office and is on "unauthorised leave", they said. The Gujarat government handed over the matter to the CBI which has issued four notices so far but the officer did not join the investigation.
The CBI opened a look out circular against the 2005-batch officer to prevent any misadventure by him to leave the country and conducted searches at several locations, including his native place in Jaipur, they said.
During the probe, it had emerged that the officer was habitually seeking huge bribes, they alleged. The central probe agency has found that Karnani, who was posted as Additional Income Tax Commissioner in Ahmedabad, was in the "Agreed List" of the government since 2015 yet he kept getting important postings in the department, they said.
The government officers against whom there are "complaints, doubts or suspicion" related to honesty or integrity are put in "Agreed List" after consultations between the officers of the departments concerned and the CBI.
They said the agency is also looking into the aspect as to how an officer in the agreed list was being given sensitive postings which brings under scanner the role of senior officers involved in the process.
(With PTI Inputs)