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I-T officer’s homes raided

india Updated: Feb 28, 2009 01:02 IST
Manish Pachouly
Manish Pachouly
Hindustan Times
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the Thane residence of Additional Commissioner of Income Tax S.M. Keshkamat after an Income Tax (I-T) officer caught for accepting a bribe from a real estate agent reportedly told CBI officials that he was taking the bribe on behalf of Keshkamat.

CBI officials said during searches they found three flats in Thane’s Hiranandani Complex valued at Rs 1.25 crore, Rs 82 lakh and Rs 80 lakh respectively. He used to stay in one house and two were rented out.

“While two flats were in Keshkamat’s wife’s name, one was in his brother’s name,” a senior CBI official said. “A shop in the same complex worth Rs 1.25 crore in Keshkamat’s wife’s name was also found.”

The CBI also found two bank lockers in Mumbai and Goa and 2.5 kg gold in the Mumbai locker in his wife’s name. The Goa locker was in his brother’s wife’s name, the CBI said.

The Anti-Corruption branch of the CBI had detained I-T officer T. V. Mohan on Thursday for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 4.5 lakh from a real estate agent, while Mohan was taking money to settle the I-T assessment of the estate agent.

The assessment was supposed to be over by December 31.

A press release issued by CBI said that Mohan had demanded Rs 12.5 lakh out of which he had already collected Rs 8 lakh. The release said the complainant (the real estate agent) was told that he would not be given the assessment order till he paid the complete bribe amount.

However, a controversy erupted when the CBI conducted searches at Keshkamat’s home.

The CBI said Mohan was allegedly demanding the bribe on behalf of Keshkamat under whose supervision he was working.
Interestingly, the press release mentioned only Mohan’s name; only the designation of the additional commissioner was mentioned.

CBI officials said that the bribe to Mohan was paid through the Borivali-based chartered accountant of the real estate agent.

A CBI team has also gone to Goa to find out if Keshkamat had invested any money in three companies which are in his wife’s and brother’s names.

Meanwhile, a team of senior I-T officials visited Tanna House in Colaba on Friday afternoon, where the Anti-Corruption branch is located, to meet CBI authorities regarding the search on Keshkamat. The matter even reached Delhi and senior officials from the I-T vigilance branch met CBI Director Ashwini Kumar on Friday. “How can you implicate an official just because his subordinate named him?” a senior I-T official said.

The official said that this way it would be difficult to work as anybody trapped could implicate his senior just by taking his name. I-T officials said Keshkamat’s family has a business background and that’s why he has so many assets.
Keshkamat could not be contacted, as the CBI had not concluded the search till late Friday.