T commissioner, Essar MD held for bribery

T commissioner, Essar MD held for bribery”

The commissioner of the income tax (appeals) B B Rajendra is alleged to have taken a bribe to pass a favourable order on an appeal filed by a trust under the Essar group.

The arrested I-T officer, B B Rajendra Prasad, is an IRS officer of 1992 batch who is now I-T Commissioner (Appeals - 30) in Mumbai, as per the FIR filed by the CBI.

On Tuesday, a trap was set and the CBI caught Prasad receiving a sum of Rs 19.34 lakh from Jain. The sources also revealed that over Rs 1.5 crores were seized by the agency during the searches carried related to the case. It is alleged that the bribe was taken to favour a corporate house.

The Central Bureau of Investigation team recovered large amounts of cash, investment details and other incriminating documents from their homes in south Mumbai and other places, the sources added.

An official spokesperson of Balaji Trust denied allegations of misconduct by its executives: "There was a routine survey of records, conducted by CBI at the offices of two of our executives in connection with some IT assessment orders". CBI has also gathered some documents from Essar company office, it said. The payment, CBI found, was meant to be handed over to Prasad at his Vishakapatnam residence at an "opportune moment". Prasad then went to Visakhapatnam on leave and demanded that a part of the money be delivered to his residence there.

The trust was managing its affairs through a chartered accountancy firm run by Choksi whose associate Parikh was actively involved in the case, CBI FIR has allleged.

In the present case, legal submissions were made to the authorities through a reputed accounting firm, based on which the orders were passed in a routine manner.

"Our executives are innocent and the company stands by them", it said.

The CBI has produced Bajpai, Parikh, Mittal and Manish in Sessions Court and obtained transit demand to bring them to Visakhapatnam for further investigation.

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