Top I-T man, 5 others held in graft case

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Income Tax (IT) commissioner B.B. Rajendra Prasad in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, in connection with a bribery case and seized cash worth Rs 1.5 crore from him.

CBI sources said that commissioner BB Rajendra Prasad and one other person has been arrested from Vishakhapatnam while four others have been taken into custody from Mumbai.

On Tuesday, CBI laid a trap and caught Prasad who had received Rs.19.34 lakh from Jain. While the CBI said that it had recovered the bribe amount of Rs 1.7 crore, Essar on the other hand has denied the allegations. The trust in question is Balaji Trust whose trustee is Essar Investments Limited, registered at Essar House, Mumbai.

The arrested accused are being produced today in the designated Court.

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Once the favourable orders were issued, the Commissioner asked Suresh Jain, a bullion and real estate dealer based in Visakhapatanam who works as middleman for the Commissioner, to get in touch with Choksi and arrange the agreed illegal payment, the FIR alleged. "We are confident that on investigations the CBI will come to the same conclusion", the company said, adding its officials were fully cooperating with the investigating agency.

The money was then ordered to be delivered. The payment, CBI found, was meant to be handed over to Prasad at his Vishakapatnam residence at an "opportune moment".

The CBI further said that searches were conducted in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam including offices and residence of the accused, which led to recovery of several property documents, details of Bank accounts, three lockers and several incriminating documents.

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", the spokesperson said.

  • Myrtle Hill