New Delhi: Claiming to have unearthed a major bribery scandal in the Income Tax Department's Investigation Wing, the CBI on Sunday said it arrested a Chennai-based Joint Commissioner, two chartered accountants and a businessman.
CBI sources said several IRS officers and middlemen are being questioned in Mumbai and Chennai.
The agency said it is investigating a larger conspiracy where IT officials, chartered accountants and businessmen were allegedly hand in glove to settle tax probe against companies/ individuals and huge amounts are paid.
In the operation which was underway till late tonight across Mumbai and Chennai, the CBI arrested Joint Commissioner in Chennai Salong Yaden,? Chartered Accountants - Sanjay Bhandari and Shreyas Bhandari and Managing Director of Chennai-based real estate firm - SPG and RG Hitesh Kawad, the sources said.
The sources said several more senior Income Tax officers from Mumbai and Chennai are under the scanner besides a Chartered Accountant based in Mumbai, Devender Mehta, who is an associate of Bhandaris.
Among others under scrutiny are?a senior IRS officer of the rank of Deputy Commissioner whose name is being withheld and about five companies who were allegedly paying illegal gratification to settle tax disputes.
The sources said CBI has recovered some documents during searches which showed that the IRS officer, who is being questioned, allegedly took Rs 10 lakh from Sanjay Bhandari to settle a case where IT department had conducted raids and recovered gold, silver and other articles.
About Mehta, the sources alleged several bundles of cash totalling about Rs 55 lakhs, separately packed, which were meant to be given to several senior officers in the Income Tax department for different cases have been recovered by the agency.
In searches carried out in 16 places, the agency said it has seized cash and ornaments worth over Rs one crore, 16 laptops, 13 CPUs, nine mobile phones, three i-pads, property papers and other documents, they claimed.