BENGALURU: A Special CBI court has sentenced two officers of Income Tax Department to five years of rigorous imprisonment for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA).
The two IRS officers, then Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax U A Chandramouli and his boss, then Additional Commissioner of Income Tax Dhirendra Kumar Jha have been convicted under various sections of POCA for criminal conspiracy in assessing income tax with respect to Children’s Education Society and causing wrongful loss to the Indian government. Special Judge Ashwath Narayana has also levied a fine of `7.5 lakh each.
A suo motu case had been taken up by CBI, Bengaluru against Chandramouli and Chairman of Children’s Education Society Narasaraju in 2008. A chargesheet was filed in April 2010 against all the three. Narasaraju passed away during the trial.
The chargesheet said that the two officers entered into a criminal conspiracy with Narasaraju in assessing the income tax of the Society. The chargesheet also reflected how a key document showing transactions of the society with Binco Constructions was returned to Narasaraju without any copies being retained. Further the assessment was carried out for 2003-04 in December 2006 ignoring those transactions and reducing the tax liability which caused loss to the Union government.
The case caused a little stir in 2015 when Chandramouli sought the permission of the Court to put President Pranab Mukherjee on the stand. He had contended that Mukherjee was Finance Minister in 2006 and he had given permission for CBI to prosecute him without application of mind. The CBI filed objections within 24 hours stating that it was actually the undersecretary of Finance who had given the nod for prosecution and not the erstwhile Minister.
Stating that the sanction showed satisfactory application of mind, the CBI said the petitioner could cross examine the under secretary if he chose to, who was already a witness in the case.