A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Wednesday rejected the bail applications of two Inspectors of the Income Tax department booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) for demanding a bribe of Rs 10 lakhs and Rs. 5 lakhs each for helping a logistics firm after a search was conducted in its premises by the department.
Special CBI judge Jayendra C. Jagdale said in separate orders while rejecting their pleas that it is material to note that they were caught red handed demanding and accepting the bribe amount from the complainant. The court said further that material witnesses include employees of the Income Tax department and that obviously the possibility cannot be ruled out that the applicants may try to influence the witnesses. It also noted that it has come on record that the bribe amount was collected for distribution among other IT officers and that this needs to be probed.
Appearing for the CBI, prosecutor PKB Gaikwad had argued against their pleas stating that they held sensitive posts at the IT department and handle various important tax matters and that they have committed a grave offence by demanding and accepting bribes.
Seeking bail, the duo had told the court that they do not have past antecedents and have fully cooperated with the probe.
The two IT inspectors Dilip Kumar, 40 and Ashish Kumar, 32 had been part of an IT department search team that had conducted a search of the premises of an air cargo service firm’s office and the office of its managing director Ismail M. Khan. The department had seized various documents and devices as part of their search and sealed his office cabin. As per Khan’s complaint to the CBI (ACB), he was approached by Dilip Kumar who demanded Rs. 20 lakhs and Ashish Kumar who demanded Rs. 10 lakhs to help him with the probe against him.
Another officer SN Rai also offered to help in exchange for a bribe, but did not specify the amount he expected, Khan’s complaint said. Upon verification by the CBI (ACB) it was established that Dilip Kumar had demanded Rs. 10 lakhs and Ashish Kumar Rs. 5 lakhs. The ACB laid a trap and both were caught redhanded accepting the respective amounts. They were then arrested.