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CBI likely to summon TN DGP in Gutka scam

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: December 27, 2018  | 20:03 IST

New Delhi, Dec 27 (PTI) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to summon Tamil Nadu DGP T K Rajendran and former commissioner of Chennai S George for questioning in connection with gutka scam, officials said Thursday. The agency has called seven police officials, including a DCP-rank officer, for questioning this week, they said. Two officers were questioned Wednesday, two have been quizzed Thursday, while three will appear for questioning Friday, they added. Once the questioning of these officers gets over, the agency is likely to send summonses to Rajendran, a 1984-batch IPS officer, and George, the officials said. The Tamil Nadu government had banned gutka (a concoction of tobacco and pan masala) in 2013, and it is being alleged that bribes were paid to bureaucrats, ministers and politicians to allow its manufacturing and sale. The scam came to light on July 8, 2017 when income tax sleuths raided the godown, offices and residences of a Tamil Nadu-based pan masala and gutka manufacturer who had been facing charges of tax evasion to the tune of Rs 250 crore. The promoter-directors of Jayam Industries -- A V Madhav Rao, Uma Shankar Gupta and Srinivas Rao -- allegedly sold MDM brand gutka by influencing officials, politicians and regulatory authorities, the agency officials said. Jayam Industries was rechristened Annamalai Industries to continue the sale, they said. During the raids, the department had seized a diary containing names of those who were allegedly paid bribes by the gutka manufacturers. On a plea filed by a DMK leader, the Madras High Court had sent the case to the CBI in April. This was challenged in the Supreme Court by a Tamil Nadu health official but the apex court sided with the order of the Madras High Court and asked the agency to register a case. The agency had registered an FIR against unidentified officials of the Tamil Nadu government, the Central Excise Department and the Food Safety Department in May this year, they said. PTI AB IJT

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