Following the trap and arrest of Income Tax officer H.R. Nagesh while he was accepting a bribe of ₹14 lakh to settle an investigation in Bengaluru on Wednesday, sleuths from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have recovered ₹1.65 crore cash from him apart from $1,450.
CBI officials recovered ₹1.35 crore in cash from Mr. Nagesh’s residence on Wednesday night, and in continuation of searches on premises linked to him, recovered another ₹30 lakh and $1,450 from a bank locker on Thursday morning.
The CBI also arrested another Income Tax officer, Narender Singh, on whose behalf too Mr. Nagesh had allegedly collected the bribe from the complainant, M. Srinivasa Rao. Bureau sleuths raided the residence and office premises of Mr. Singh as well. “Furthermore, several incriminating documents relating to the case, property, investments, and mobile phones and pen drives have been recovered,” the CBI said in a statement.
The two officers were produced before the CBI special court in the city and were remanded in bureau custody for four days.
The two officers had allegedly demanded a bribe of ₹20 lakh from Mr. Rao, MD of Windsor Garden Pvt. Ltd., a real estate firm, to cover up an investigation against him. Acting on his complaint, CBI sleuths laid a trap for Mr. Nagesh when he came to a cafe in Jayanagar to collect ₹14 lakh — the final amount the complainant had negotiated with him. The officer was arrested red-handed.
The Investigation Wing of the Income Tax Department sought to distance itself from the arrested officers. “The particular case pertains to a survey conducted by the ITO on the person assessed within his jurisdiction only, for the limited purposes of recovery of demand or to find evidence only on the premises where business is conducted. A search operation is conducted by the Investigation Wing with no restriction of jurisdiction. The wing is staffed with carefully chosen officers and staff,” I-T officials said.
This comes days after the I-T Investigation Wing faced much political ire over some search and seizure operations. Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, addressing a protest by Congress and JD(S) workers on March 28, had said: “We also know what settlements I-T officials do sitting here.”