The anti-corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday night arrested Income Tax Commissioner (Appeals) RP Meena for allegedly harassing a software professional for bribe.
The 1987-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer was arrested after a CBI team apprehended UA Pai, a chartered accountant, while accepting bribe of Rs2.2 lakh.
“Meena was arrested late on Friday after Pai revealed that the bribe was accepted on his behalf,” Rishiraj Singh, Joint Director, CBI, Mumbai Zone-1, said in a media briefing on Saturday.
The CBI also raided Meena’s residence, and found documents related to a house each at Mumbai and Dosa — his native place near Jaipur in Rajasthan. He also has a plot of land and a bank locker at Jaipur, CBI revealed.
Singh said that searches are being conducted at six places – three belonging to Meena and three to his close relatives, in addition to three places connected to Pai. He, however, refused to divulge details of properties or valuables found in the searches.
The case pertains to an income tax assessment for the year 2006-2007, during which, an assessing officer increased the tax liability of the software professional from Rs9 lakh to Rs20 lakh. Aggrieved, the latter filed an appeal.
The appeal was pending before Meena, who allegedly refused to dispose it off, and threatened to impose a heavy penalty if he wasn’t paid a bribe.
Meanwhile, the complainant approached the anti-corruption wing of the CBI where he was advised to negotiate a price with Meena, who settled at Rs 2.2 lakh.
These conversations between Meena, Pai and the complainant were taped by the CBI, for record.
Meena suggested that the complainant pay the cash to Pai, who, in turn, would pass it on to him through another conduit.
"Subsequently, Pai asked the complainant to meet him at Shivala Restaurant near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus," Abhin Modak, Deputy Inspector General, CBI, Mumbai said.
Accordingly, the complainant paid the bribe amount to Pai in Shivala Restaurant, where the chartered accountant was immediately apprehended by CBI personnel.
The team then waited at the restaurant for Meena’s conduit, but nobody turned up. However, they eventually succeeded in tracing the courier and completed the trail that led to Meena’s doorstep.