The CBI’s Visakhapatnam branch landed a big fish when it laid a trap and caught an income tax officer for demanding a massive bribe from a complainant to reduce his tax liability.
According to deputy inspector-general G Nageswara Rao, the agency laid a trap and caught S Lakshmana Rao, maternal uncle of an IT officer of Kakinada Ward I, P Venkateswara Rao, red handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 65 lakh from the complainant at the latter’s residence. The complainant said Venkateswara Rao had demanded a bribe of Rs 65 lakh and wanted it to be paid to his proxy. As the complainant could only raise Rs 15 lakh, it was packed in such a way as to suggest an amount of Rs 65 lakh and given to Lakshmana Rao.
Lakshmana Rao has been arrested.
The complainant is a farmer who is also into financing business. Officials of the Income Tax Department of Kakinada had raided the house of the complainant and seized certain registers, books of accounts and documents on June 22.
Thereafter, the complainant was summoned to the IT office in Kakinada several times. During these visits, IT officer (ITO) Venkateswara Rao said that the tax claims could be ‘ignored’ if a bribe of Rs 80 lakh was paid to him. He said his uncle S Lakshmana Rao, who lives in Pandalapaka village in Biccavolu mandal in East Godavari district, would act as his proxy.
On Saturday, Lakshmana Rao met the complainant at Venkateswara Rao’s house in Kakinada and begged Venkateswara Rao to reduce the bribe from Rs 80 lakh to Rs 65 lakh. Venkateswara Rao, recuperating from an illness, is yet to be arrested. Raids are on on the assets of the duo.