Fact Checking by Vibes of India
Gujarat Pollution Control Board Member Secretary AV Shah was transferred in a covert, overnight operation to Porbandar from Ahmedabad by the Gujarat government on Thursday.
The transfer came following a demand for his removal by several industrialists, MSME factory owners and trade organisations.There have been complaints of corruption against AV Shah for a long time. There were newspaper and television reports o AV Shah offering the ACB team that raided him.
Team Vibes of India (V0!) deep-dived
into the issue.
Here are our findings.
* Despite media reports that Gujarat Pollution Control Board Secretary AV Shah who was “raided ” by Anti Corruption Bureau of Gujarat “offered” Rs 30 crores to “settle” the illegal money he had amassed; Vibes of India investigation proves that this is completely untrue.
* The Gujarat government did transfer the Pollution board’s member secretary A V Shah in an unexpected move to Porbandar.
* At least eight people from industrial lobbies, panchayats and nagarpalikas complained to Gujarat Government that they wanted a transparent, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for clearance of their projects. The Government, therefore, appointed senior environmental engineer Devang Thaker and transferred A V Shah.
* Between January 2020 and 2022, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board was under various radars for the Supreme Court. Gujarat government and National Green Tribunal (NGT) for various issues like Sabarmati river population,a blast in a textile unit which killed 12 people, a pesticide problem that killed five people in Dahod, and so on and on;
* There were reports that the ACB led by a PSI and a constable raided A V SHah’s house and found Rs 15 crore in cash. The twist begins now. It was reported after the ACB found Rs 15 crores, A V Shah was ready to give a PSI and PI of Anti Corruption Bureau Rs 30 crores to hide his black money (of Rs 15 crores.)
* First of all, because A V Shah is a class One officer, the ACB cannot raid him without first informing and taking consent from the government. The ACB had trailed A V Shah, compiled a report and submitted it to the Gujarat government seeking permission to raid A V Shah but the Government did not react on the report and instead immediately transferred A V Shah to Porbandar.
* ACB says it is wrong to say they demanded Rs 30 crore from Shah. “This is to malign our image”, a top ACB sleuth said adding this is to defame ACB. Newspapers and television channel which claimed so should apologise.
* Interestingly, there is no post of PSI, a police sub inspector in ACB. So the news of ACB raiding Shah and demanding Rs 30 crore is fake news.
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