Owing cash crunch I-T officer asks for bribes in installments

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An Income Tax (I-T) officer in Visakhapatnam was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on allegations that he demand a bribe of rupees 1,50,000 in exchange of dropping departmental proceedings against a person who was recently issued with a notice by the I-T department. The probe agency has further recovered cash from the I-T officer to the tune of more than 2 lakh rupees.

Interestingly, the person, also the complainant in the case, revealed to CBI that the arrested I-T officer was considerate enough to let him pay the bribes in installments.The complainant told the CBI that after he expressed the difficulties he had been facing to collect the said amount, owning to newly introduced demonetization measures , the I-T officer suggested the said bribe could be paid in installments of 30,000 each.

“Agreement to pay bribes in installment was reached only after the officer was told about the difficulties that the complainant was facing to collect the said money,” said a senior CBI official. The I-T officer was identified as B Srinivasa Rao posted in MVP Colony, Visakhapatnam.

While elaborating details of the case a CBI official said, ” It is standard practice for people interesting in investing in land to buy a plot and hire a builder to construct flats. The builder in return can either ask for direct payments or simply owner ship of some of the flats he/she constructed. In this particular case, the complainant had given his plot for development to a builder in Visakhapatnam was yet to receive his share of 12 flats. The accused IT officer demanded a bribe of Rs. 1,50,000 for dropping further proceedings with reference to the notice issued to the complainant in respect of sale of immoveable property, which require payment of Capital Gains”.

According to CBI when, the complainant was unable to arrange the bribe, the officer allegedly agreed to accept money in installments and directed him to pay the first installment of Rs 30,000 on December 27.

“CBI laid a trap and caught the IT officer red handed while demanding and accepting the bribe of Rs 30,000 from the complainant. During the searches conducted at the office and residential premises of accused at Visakhapatnam, several incriminating documents including cash of Rs 2,03,370 was recovered.