Stock Guru scam: I-T officer removed from Finance Ministry

A senior Income Tax official has been removed from the Finance Ministry after CBI carried out raids at his properties on charges of allegedly taking bribe during a probe into the Rs 500-crore Stock Guru scam.

New Delhi: A senior Income Tax official who has allegedly taken a huge bribe of crores of rupees was on Tuesday removed from the Finance Ministry after CBI carried out searches on his properties during a probe into accusations levelled by Rs 500-crore Stock Guru scam mastermind.

Deputy Commissioner Income Tax Yogendra Mittal, a 2006-batch Indian Revenue Services Officer, who was posted at Finance Ministry in Central Board of Direct Taxes as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Tax planning and legislation division has now been "attached" as an OSD in Chief Commissioner (Income Tax) Delhi office, official sources said here.

"A departmental inquiry against him will be conducted by a Chief Commissioner rank official and it will submit a report to the CBDT soon. He may later be suspended too," a senior official said.

Meanwhile, CBI took custody of Stock Guru promoter Ulhas Khaire, who was in Tihar prison as an undertrial, and is planning to confront him with Mittal in the light of allegations and counter-allegations levelled by them against each other, agency sources said here.

They said questioning of Mittal took place today at the agency's headquarters here where he denied taking any bribe from Khaire.

CBI had conducted searches after allegations by Khaire that the IT official had walked away with Rs 40 crore from his Rewari residence besides paying a bribe of Rs 15 crore for diluting a case against his company.

However, the agency after searches and seizure of all documents said only movable and immovable assets worth Rs 2 crore could be traced and the same could be well explained by the IT official, CBI sources said.

They further said the agency would soon call for accounts and property details of Mittal's relatives to see if assets have been acquired in their name.

Mittal was booked for criminal conspiracy and under Prevention of Corruption Act. It was alleged that the officer led searches against the company Stock Guru in January 2011 with the intention of extracting illegal gratification, they said.

The alleged perpetrators of Stock Guru scam - Khaire and his wife Raksha - were arrested by Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing in November last year, nearly 22 months after dubious searches carried out by the Income Tax officer.

Khaire and Raksha were arrested for allegedly duping around two lakh investors from seven states of nearly Rs 493 crore by promising them high returns on their investment through their firm Stock Guru.

The couple had floated the firm in 2010 and allegedly lured people to invest in it promising highly lucrative returns of 20 percent per month followed by a subsequent refund of the principal amount in the seventh month, through source based investments in the share market.