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Transfer taint on four more

New Delhi, May 24: At least four more revenue officers were alleged beneficiaries of the transfer-for-cash scandal that has scalped junior finance minister Gingee Ramachandran, who resigned yesterday after his first personal assistant was caught taking a bribe.

If Thursday saw the arrest of Indian Revenue Service officer Anurag Vardhan on charges of offering a bribe of Rs 4 lakh, sleuths yesterday searched the house of another IRS officer, C.M. Naik.

Naik, who is posted in Chennai, had allegedly approached Chennai-based chartered accountant A. Krishnamurthy — who has since been arrested — for a transfer to Mumbai. In the transfer order No. 72/2003, issued by the finance ministry on May 21 but kept in abeyance after the exposé, Naik’s name is ninth on a list of 54. He was let off after interrogation.

The CBI is also probing the role of revenue officers S.A. Draviavasapani and Sunil Kumar Singh. Their transfer proposal papers were recovered from Krishnamurthy’s house at 43, Ramaswamy Street in T Nagar, according to documents available with the bureau. Both the officers are posted in Chennai. While Singh is holding charge as deputy director of income tax (investigation), Draviavasapani is a senior tax assistant.

The two had allegedly approached Krishnamurthy — described as the racket’s “kingpin” — for favourable transfers. CBI sources said Draviavasapani had requested Krishnamurthy for a transfer to Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. Krishnamurthy’s interrogation, they added, would make it clear whether money changed hands after the deal was struck in these cases.

Even in Vardhan’s case, the sleuths alleged that the Rs 4 lakh recovered from R. Perumalswamy, the arrested personal assistant, was the first instalment.

A city court today remanded Krishnamurthy in CBI custody for 10 days after he landed in Delhi last night from Chennai on a transit remand. “He appears to be the kingpin in the racket where money was collected and passed on to public servants,” CBI counsel S. Krishnakumar told special judge Prem Kumar.

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