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Principal income tax commissioner arrested, sent to jail after recovery of Rs 3.7 cr cash, 6.6 kg gold

CBI arrested Dutta in Ranchi and produced him before a special CBI court , which took him under judicial custody. The court allowed the agency to take Dutta under its custody for four days for further interrogation.

ranchi Updated: Jul 15, 2017 13:56 IST
Bedanti Saran
Principal income-tax commissioner Tapas Dutta (in purple shirt) being taken to special CBI court in Ranchi
Principal income-tax commissioner Tapas Dutta (in purple shirt) being taken to special CBI court in Ranchi (HT Photo/Parwaz Khan)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Ranchi’s principal commissioner of income tax, Tapas Kumar Dutta, after recovering Rs 3.7 crore cash and 6.6 kg gold from his Salt Lake residence in Kolkata.

The agency on Wednesday had raided premises of four income tax department officials, a chartered accountant and five private persons at 23 locations in Kolkata and Ranchi for their alleged involvement in criminal conspiracy to favour shell companies by slashing their tax liabilities.

After arresting Dutta here, the investigating agency produced him before a special CBI court at 2pm on Thursday. It took him under judicial custody and forwarded him to the Birsa Munda Central Jail here.

Special CBI judge Bal Krishna Tiwari, however, allowed the agency to take Dutta under its custody for four days for further interrogation.

“We will take him to Kolkata to unearth the scam further,” a CBI official informed the court, seeking its permission to take Dutta under police custody.

The CBI carried out search and seizure operations on the premises of Dutta and his junior colleagues Arvind Kumar, additional commissioner of income tax, Ranjit Kumar Lal, income tax officer and Subir Ganguly, another officer of the department.

Besides, premises of a chartered accountant Pawan Maurya and five Kolkata-based businessmen Biswanath Agarwal, director of Anchal Vyapar Private Limited, Santosh Choudhary, Vinod Agarwal, Aakash Agarwal and Arvind Agarwal were also raided.

On Wednesday, a team of CBI officials reached Ranchi’s income-tax building to quiz Dutta, who resided at the department’s guest house on the eight floor. They grilled Dutta and his colleagues for more than eight hours in the guest house. The officials said the investigation was still on.

A separate team raided Dutta’s residence at Salt Lake in Kolkata and recovered Rs 3.5 crore cash and 5 kg gold from the house.

The raids were conducted after the CBI registered named FIR on July 10 against Dutta and nine others. HT has inspected the copy of the FIR.

It was alleged that Dutta during 2016-17 had entered into a criminal conspiracy with his colleagues to take a huge bribe from the named private persons for transferring their companies’ income tax assessment files from Kolkata and Hazaribag to Ranchi and reassessing the files to substantially reduce the tax liability of these companies.

Under the criminal conspiracy, Dutta asked his junior Arvind Kumar to issue favourable orders by reassessing the files of GRD Finance and Finlink, the companies in which Biswanath Agarwal has financial interest. Besides, Agarwal paid huge bribe to Dutta and other officers soon after the folder of assessment file of his company Anchal Vyapar migrated to Ranchi. Dutta also assured to pass favourable orders with regard to Agarwal’s other companies namely Sanchay Tradecom and Marici Dealmark.

The CBI alleged that Biswanath Agarwal, his relatives PK Dhanuka, Subodh Dhanuka and Santosh Choudhary were custodian of Dutta’s illegal money. The FIR further alleged that Dutta obtained 6% interest from these people against his illegal money stashed with them. Recently, in May and on June 11 hefty interest amount was delivered to Dutta’s wife at his Salt Lake residence.

The FIR revealed that acting on Dutta’s instruction, Biswanath Agarwal had paid Rs 3.5 crore to Mani group for booking a flat at EM bypass in Kolkata. In order to show these shady transactions as genuine, fake loan papers had been prepared. In one such loan papers, it had been shown that Subodh Dhanuka had taken a loan of Rs 1.75 crore from Ruchira Dutta, a family member of Tapas Dutta.