NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against nine senior Income Tax officials, including Principal Commissioner Income Tax of Delhi, and three private persons on Wednesday for allegedly availing favours, including stay, conveyance and flight travel at the expense.
“The agency has carried out searches at 17 locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Khammam,” said a senior CBI officer.
The agency recovered documents related to properties worth Rs 2.6 crore, cash of Rs 16 lakh, 4.25 kg of gold jewellery besides 13 kg of silver articles during searches at the premises of one of the officials. They claimed that from another official Fixed Deposit Receipts worth Rs 68 lakh were recovered. Underlining that these were initial recoveries, they said the searches are still going on and that more recoveries could be made.
The agency has registered a case against Principal Commissioner Income Tax of Delhi S K Mittal, Additional Commissioner (exemption) Bangalore T N Prakash, Deputy Commissioner (Investigation) Chennai S Murali Mohan, Commissioner Chennai Vijayalakshmi, Additional Commissioner Mumbai S Pandian, Commissioner Mumbai G Lakshmi Baraprasad, Additional Director General Ghaziabad Vikram Gaur and Additional Director Mumbai Rajendra Kumar.
They have been booked under various section of Prevention of Corruption Act. The agency got a tip off that chartered accountant Sanjay Bhandari and his sons Shreyansh and Divyang were providing various favours to many Income tax officers across the country. “They were allegedly bribing Income tax officer,” said a CBI officer.
It is alleged that these officials were availing favours including stay, conveyance and flight travel at the expense of the chartered accountant and his sons and helping him in the cases of his clients as quid pro quo. “We have collected evidences during raids. Many more are involved in the case and we are trying to trace them,” said the officer adding that a few other chartered accountants have also income tax officers on their pay roll.
The present case stemmed from another case registered by the agency in January, 2015 in which Bhandari was named along with Joint Commissioner Sallong Yaden who was arrested while allegedly 'receiving' the bribe amount from Shreyans Bhandari of SH Bhandari and Co, Chartered Accountants.
Yaden had allegedly demanded and accepted the bribe for giving a 'favourable' report on the Income Tax search conducted on a city-based private company, the CBI said.
During the probe, CBI found a deep rooted nexus between Bhandari and senior Income Tax officials who were allegedly giving favourable reports for his clients in lieu of favours received from him.
Earlier this year, the CBI director Anil Sinha is carrying out various drives to weed out and catch corrupt bureaucrats and central government employees.
CBI claimed to have carried out a nation-wide operation between May 16 and May 31 against 14 government officers who allegedly amassed assets disproportionate to known sources of their income and registered cases against them.
The drive saw registration of corruption cases against six Group A officers, three Group B officers and five Group C officers of the central government and public sector undertakings. They said alleged disproportionate assets worth about Rs 38.47 crore were found during the drive. The drive was personally monitored by the CBI director, who has planned to carry out such drives every month.