The CBI has arrested Managing Director of Essar group Pradeep Mittal and an Income Tax Commissioner B B Rajendra Prasad in a bribery case of Rs two crore for allegedly getting a favourable tax order from the latter.
The arrested IT officer is BB Rajendra Prasad, now I-T commissioner (appeals - 30) in Mumbai.
Prasad was caught red handed while receiving Rs 19.34 lakh from a real estate agent, Suresh Kumar Jain, in Visakhapatnam.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team has reportedly recovered large amounts of cash amounting to around Rs 1.5 crore, investment details and other incriminating documents from their residences in south Mumbai and other places, the sources added.
It was alleged that Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals -30), Mumbai passed an order in an appeal matter favouring a private trust whose trustee was a private company based at Mumbai, following which a case was registered. We categorically deny all allegations regarding any misconduct by our executives. A source told CBI that the amount was likely to be delivered to Prasad on Tuesday at his Visakhapatnam residence.
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The trust through the CA firm entered into a conspiracy of paying a hefty bribe running into crores as "illegal gratification" to secure the favourable order from Prasad.
Prasad had allegedly asked for part of the money at his Visakhapatnam home where he was away on leave.
Prasad will be produced in CBI court by Wednesday afternoon. "Inquiries also revealed that Pradip Mittal, MD with the Essar Group, was personally monitoring the process of paying the bribe amount to Prasad", said a CBI officer.
The money was then ordered to be delivered. "Balaji Trust is a responsible corporate citizen and conducts its business in an open and transparent manner", it said. "Our executives are cooperating with the investigation fully and will continue to do so". "Our executives are innocent and the company stands by them", the spokesperson said.