Pursuant to the recent arrest of Principal Commissioner Sailendra Mamidi and other top officials by the CBI for allegedly demanding and receiving bribes from taxpayers, the CBI has filed a report in Court in which it has presented an alleged nefarious nexus between fixers, businessmen and corrupt Income Tax Department officials.
According to a report in the Hindu, the CBI has revealed that the suspect officials routinely threatened businessmen with re-opening their I-T assessment of earlier years, surprise I-T surveys and imposition of unreasonably high tax liabilities to pressurise them to pay a bribe.
Not surprisingly, the alleged corrupt officials led an alleged opulent life. While one official hoarded contraband liquor in his house to host his superiors and curry favour with them, others regularly stayed in hotels, resorts and apartments owned by rich assesses. The suspects are also stated to have leaned on well-heeled businessmen to underwrite their family vacations and air travel. Many lived in rent free accommodation paid to by affluent tax payers in their places of posting.
Some officials are stated to have received valuables as gifts from businessmen while others regularly went on foreign trips paid for by rich tax payers in their jurisdiction.
Principal Commissioner Sailendra Mamidi, the prime suspect, is stated to have been enriched by Rs.40 lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs in a short span of three months. Anil Goel, another Chief CIT who has also been arrested By CBI, is stated to have amassed a wealth of Rs. 30 crore.
It is also revealed that certain auditors, chartered accounts and businessmen acted as “conduits” for the corruption. The said middlemen also held or managed the ill-gotten wealth of the corrupt officials.
Meanwhile the CBI is stated to be hot on the heels of the alleged middlemen and is in the process of identifying them. It is also stated that the electronic communication between the suspects and the auditors was being collected and analysed to establish the criminal link.