2 Mumbai I-T officers jailed for accepting ₹1.5-crore bribe
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has sentenced two senior income tax officers to five years imprisonment and for accepting a bribe of ₹1.5 crore from a builder in 2010. The officers are additional commissioner Sumitra Banerji and assistant commissioner Anjali Bambole. Banerji’s husband was also jailed for four years. The convicts have been ordered to pay a collective fine of ₹1.5 crore.
According to the CBI, Banerji, a 1992-batch Indian Revenue Service officer, and her subordinate Bambole had gone for a survey at Ram Developers in March 2010. Banerji was with the Thane division at the time. During the survey, Banerji and Bambole told the developer’s partner (complainant) that ‘the tax liability of the firm was ₹25 crore’. To reduce the tax liability to ₹1.05 crore, the officers had initially demanded ₹2 crore in bribe which was reduced to ₹1.5crore . The officers took ₹35 lakh in cheque as the tax liability amount and wanted the bribe to be delivered the following day, according to the prosecution. The anti-corruption bureau (ACB) laid a trap in April 2010. ACB smeared currency with phenolphthalein powder for identification.
When the complainant reached Vikhroli Bridge, he met Banerji’s husband Subrato, who was waiting in a car. “After Subrato accepted the bribe, he was arrested and eventually the other two accused,” CBI counsel Kavita Patil had argued. The CBI court asked Banerji to pay a fine of ₹80 lakh, while Bambole has to shell out ₹40 lakh. Banerji’s husband was asked to pay ₹30 lakh.