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2 sales tax officers caught taking bribe

india Updated: Feb 01, 2009 01:03 IST
Presley Thomas
Presley Thomas
Hindustan Times
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Two senior sales tax officers were on Saturday caught accepting a bribe of Rs 95,000 by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and arrested.

Acting on a complaint by an accountant working with a plastics firm in Byculla, the ACB caught Deputy Commissioner of Sales Tax (Assessment) Devrao Narayan Bawne and Senior Sales Tax Inspector Dilipshankar Dhage red-handed.

The two were arrested from the sales tax office in Mazgaon.

“A panchanama is being prepared at their office premises and a search will be conducted at their respective homes,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, ACB Mumbai Range, R.R. Satam said.

Complainant Sameer Desai, an accountant with Ruhrer Plastics, had received a notice to present on January 13 at the sales tax office the accounts of the firm from 2000 to 2005.

The accountant met Bawne and was directed to Dhage, who the complaint said sought Rs 1 lakh by way of a bribe.

In the details he gave to the ACB on Friday, Desai said he remained firm on not paying any bribe and stuck to his point that there were no discrepancies in the accounts of Ruhrer Plastics as claimed by the officer.

Then Dhage, on January 17, went over to Ruhrer Plastics and issued a notice saying the sales tax office should be paid a visit on January 27.

On Tuesday, Desai was at the sales tax office as called for by the notice, but was told to come back on Wednesday, when Dhage once again asked him to cough up Rs 1 lakh.

“When Desai refused (to pay) the amount, Dhage took him to Bawne, who threatened to take action against the firm,” Satam said.

Two days later, Desai approached the ACB and registered a complaint.

“After verifying the complaint, a deal was fixed with Bawne for a sum of Rs 95,000,” Satam said. “On Saturday morning, we laid a trap and arrested both the officers in the act of accepting the bribe.”