Top I-T official held on charge of taking bribe

Rs. 58 lakh in cash and over 2.3 kg of gold seized during CBI searches

August 31, 2011 01:30 am | Updated 01:33 am IST - CHENNAI:

CHENNAI, 30/08/201: Krishore Kumar (wearing spectacle) and Vukundh Chand (extreme left), who were produced before CBI Special Court at Madras High Court, in Chennai on Tuesday. Photo: S_S_Kumar

CHENNAI, 30/08/201: Krishore Kumar (wearing spectacle) and Vukundh Chand (extreme left), who were produced before CBI Special Court at Madras High Court, in Chennai on Tuesday. Photo: S_S_Kumar

Officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday arrested a top Income Tax official on charges of taking a Rs. 50-lakh bribe from the managing director of a private educational institution here.

Additional Commissioner Andasu Ravindar (45), a 1991-batch Indian Revenue Service officer, allegedly took the money to favour the institution in a tax evasion case, sources in the CBI said.

According to an official in the CBI's Anti-Corruption Branch, Mr. Ravindar on August 4 organised a search/survey on the premises of the Chennai-based Everonn Education Limited, a firm that provides in-school education through V-SAT and Internet. The search revealed that the managing director of the firm, P. Kishore (49), had concealed taxable income to the tune of Rs. 116 crore. After the evasion was unearthed, Mr. Kishore contacted Mr. Ravindar, through a chartered accountant. Following negotiations, it was agreed that Rs. 50 lakh would be paid to Mr. Ravindar to reduce the taxable income by Rs. 60 crore.

On Mr. Ravindar's instructions, the money was handed over in his house (IT officers' quarters, Nungambakkam). At this stage, the CBI received a tip-off and formed a special team to investigate the matter. As Mr. Ravindar was trying to move the cash to an unknown place with the help of his associate, Uttam Chand Bora (42), the team intercepted the two and detained them for interrogation on Monday night.

After preliminary enquiries, the team arrested Mr. Ravindar, Mr. Bora and Mr. Kishore. Simultaneous searches conducted on the premises of Mr. Bora, Mr. Ravindar and others related to the case in Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Bangalore resulted in the seizure of Rs. 58 lakh in cash and more than 2.3 kg of gold.

“The searches are still on and the exact quantum of seizure would be known later. We seized about 30 foreign liquor bottles from the official residence of Mr. Ravindar. The seizure was referred to the Chennai police for proceeding against him under the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act,” the CBI official said.

Investigation revealed that Mr. Ravindar had frequently visited foreign countries in the recent years. “We have reasons to believe that there have been a lot of benami transactions involving the official. A case has been registered against the three accused under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988,” They were produced in a special court and remanded in judicial custody, the CBI official said.

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