Bribery: Tamil Nadu DVAC raid against ED officer Ankit Tiwari ends after 15 hrs

The raid started in the Madurai office after the officer was arrested by Dindigul DVAC on Friday earlier for accepting Rs 20 lakh from a government hospital doctor T Suresh Babu.
A few documents were seized during the raid at Tiwari’s office | Express
A few documents were seized during the raid at Tiwari’s office | Express

MADURAI: Following the 15-hour-long overnight search, enforcement officer Ankit Tiwari, accused of accepting Rs 20 lakh bribe from a government doctor, was sent in judicial custody in Madurai Central prison by a court in Dindigul on Saturday. During the search at the office of Tiwari in Madurai, the sleuths of Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-corruption seized a few documents.

The raid started in the Madurai office after the officer was arrested by Dindigul DVAC on Friday earlier for accepting Rs 20 lakh from a government hospital doctor T Suresh Babu. Babu was approached by the officer claiming ED was investigating a disproportionate assets case against him and had demanded Rs 3crore as bribe. “Tiwari maintained a file related to Suresh in his chamber. It was seized by the officials. They also seized a register where an entry was marked on Suresh’s name during his visit to the ED office on October 30. This apart, the police have also seized Tiwari’s laptop from his house,” said the sources.

A police officer from DVAC said most of the conversations with the EO was made with the doctor via WhatsApp calls. “Tiwari was arrested when he was receiving the second installment of Rs 20 lakh. Suresh has the video recording of him paying the first installment to the officer on November 1. After the Dindigul court ordered judicial remand, Tiwari was lodged in Madurai Central Prison on Saturday”, said sources.

The case against doc

Dindigul DVAC in July 2018 had registered a case under Prevention of Corruption Act against the then chief civil surgeon T Suresh Babu of government headquarters hospital and his wife R Srinivasa Preetha. Police said Suresh joined the service as assistant surgeon in Nov 1990 and was promoted as chief civil surgeon in 2011 whereas Preetha completed hospital management and runs a hospital in Palani Road of Dindigul from 2000.  

During the check period from January 2007 to September 2011, the police found Suresh had Rs 21.13 lakh as salary, Rs 10.06 lakh as consultant income in his wife hospital, Rs 1.2 lakh as income accrued through bank interest and ancestral properties and a loan of Rs 1.48 lakh. Preetha had acquired Rs 3.60 crore from the hospital and other incomes, and Rs 64.90 lakh  through horticulture and agriculture of during the same period.

Roughly, the assets in the name of the duo were Rs 17.59 lakh in Jan 2007 and it went up to Rs 3.87 crore by September 2011. The income for the couple accounted for Rs 4.65 crore whereas expenditure was Rs 3.37 crore in the same period. After scrutinising, the DVAC found they had acquired Rs 2.42 crore worth disproportionate assets in the check period. However, the case reportedly was closed after the doctor produced documents to substantiate the revenue.

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