CBI arrests IT Commissioner (Appeals) for accepting bribe

The arrested IT officer is B. B. Rajendra Prasad, an IRS officer of 1992 batch who is now IT Commissioner (Appeals - 30) in Mumbai.

The CBI also arrested Essar Power vice-chairman, Pradeep Mittal, an accountant for the group, Vipin Bajpai, chartered accountant Shreyas Parikh and two others.

According to the CBI, I-T commissioner Prasad had recently passed an order in an appeal favouring a private trust belonging to the Essar Group.

Mr. Prasad was caught while allegedly accepting Rs. 19.34 lakh from one Suresh Kumar Jain, a real estate agent from Vishakapatnam, and both were placed under arrest on Tuesday.

The CBI said during its probe it found that Prasad had got in touch through an associate, Suresh Jain who is into real estate and bullion.

After directions from Mittal, the money was handed over in two installments to Manish Jain, a relative of Suresh Jain, who delivered it in Visakhapatnam, the FIR said.

Jain contacted Choksi and enquired about the delivery of the agreed bribe amount.

In yet another instance of cracking down on corruption in high places, the Central government arrested a high-ranking income tax official in Mumbai on Wednesday and recovered cash from him.

Searches were also conducted in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam, including the offices and residence of the accused persons, and they led to the recovery of several property documents, details of bank accounts, and three lockers. It was said that the money would be delivered at Prasad's residence in Vishakapatanam. "Balaji Trust is a responsible corporate citizen and conducts its business in an open and transparent manner", 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. "Our executives are cooperating with the investigation fully and will continue to do so", he said.

  • Aubrey Nash