Mumbai: A special court on Thursday sentenced a 61-year-old former Office Superintendent of the Income Tax Department and a 51-year-old tax consultant, who aided him in demanding Rs50,000 bribe from a garage owner in 2013, to three years of rigorous imprisonment (RI).
The sexagenarian had demanded the money in lieu of clearing the complainant's Income Tax returns without scrutiny. The court also imposed a fine of Rs20,000 on Sathyanarayana Vanam and Rs10,000 on consultant Mehboob Shaikh.
Special Judge SH Gwalani said in the judgment that the court has kept in view the observations of the apex court with regard to the facts of the case and the proved circumstances on record while deciding the sentence. Underlining that though leniency can't be shown towards the accused, the court said that minimum punishment prescribed for the offences needs to be considered.
According to the garage owner, he and his wife had been filing the tax returns through Shaikh since 2009. He used to pay the consultant Rs7,000 fee. As per the prosecution's case, after preparing the 2013 returns, Shaikh called the complainant and informed him that an IT officer had demanded a Rs1 lakh bribe. He further said the official would be imposing Rs1.7 lakh tax on him if he fails to pay the amount.
To which, the complainant replied that he was willing to pay the legitimate tax. Shaikh later told that the official had reduced the bribe amount to Rs50,000. Even Vanam had reiterated the demand when he met the garage owner.
Based on the complaint, the CBI laid a trap and caught Shaikh red-handed while accepting Rs20,000 from the man.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)