An Income-Tax official and her husband, who is a BJP office-bearer, have been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation for allegedly accepting a Rs 10-lakh bribe from a city-based builder, who also heads a party cell.
Indian Revenue Service officer Poonam Rai and her husband, Ganesh Malviya, co-convener of the bharatiya janata party’s election cell, were allegedly caught red-handed while accepting the bribe at their Income Tax Colony residence here at 9.30 pm on Friday.
R S Bhadoria of Ramayan Builders and Developers had lodged a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation that the Deputy Commissioner-rank officer was demanding Rs 25 lakh to settle his tax penalty.
“The Income Tax department had issued a notice to Bhadoria’s firm seeking to scrutinise accounts of his firm for the financial year 2012-13, following which his chartered accountant submitted the account books tothe department.
The auditor later informed Bhadoria that Rai had found some fudging in the accounts and Income Tax Acts
were found to have been violated,” said a source close to Bhadoria, who helms the Bharatiya Janata Party’s cultural cell.
According to sources, Rai had allegedly threatened the builder with a penalty of Rs 2 crore through his auditor.
However, Bhadoria felt that the company’s finances were clean and the penalty was being unnecessarily imposed on him.
He then approached the Central Bureau of Investigation, which laid a trap and caught Rai along with her husband red-handed when they accepted Rs 10 lakh from the complainant.
“When the builder tried to hand over the cash to Rai, she asked him to hand it over to her husband. She also asked for the remaining bribe amount which the builder promised to give in some time,” a Central Bureau of Investigation source said. Rai’s chartered accountant has also been arrested.
Meanwhile, the state Congress alleged that Malviya was a close associate of Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial Narendra Modi.
To substantiate his claim, Congress leader and leader of the Opposition Satyadev Katare distributed photographs showing Malviya standing with Modi.
Katare also gave documents, which he said were downloaded from the BJP website, showing that Malviya was the co-convener of the party’s election cell. Kataria further alleged that Rai and Malviya were raising funds for the saffron party.
According to Bhadoria, the whole deal regarding the bribe was struck at the Bharatiya Janata Partyoffice in the state capital.