SAVIOUR TURNS OFFENDER
Top Income Tax officials with two others took Rs 40 lakh from evader
GUWAHATI, April 13: In what may be termed as the perfect case of saviour turning offender, the Commissioner of Income Tax (Audit), Guwahati Swetabh Suman and Income Tax officer (Audit) Pratap Das have been arrested on charges of taking bribes to the tune of Rs 40 lakh from an income tax evader to protect him from facing legal prosecution.
Sources told The Sentinel that while the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Swetabh Suman from Delhi on late Thursday night, the investigating agency arrested Income Tax officer Pratap Das and advocate and IT practioner Pranjal Sarmah on Friday. All the accused were produced before a Special Judicial Magistrate Court in Guwahati on Friday and they were remanded to the CBI custody. Searches are being conducted on offices and residential premises of the accused. Huge incriminating documents have been seized.
According to sources director of the Jorhat-based Win Power Infra Private Ltd Suresh Kumar Agarwal committed irregularities and resorted to fraudulent ways to submit his company’s income tax returns for the year 2017-18 to evade paying a huge amount of tax. When the Income Tax department registered prosecution cases against Suresh Kumar Agarwal and started the trial the Commissioner of Income Tax (Audit), Guwahati Swetabh Suman allegedly collected a bribe of more than Rs 40 lakh through middle men with the intention to deliver judgement of the case in favour of Agarwal. Once the matter came to the light the CBI registered cases of corruption and started a massive drive on Thursday to arrest the accused. The CBI also registered cases against senior Guwahati-based charter accountants Ramesh Goenka and Amit Goenka for their complicity in the crime.
The Income Tax department recently went after persons including companies who are concealing their income and not paying the due taxes in the North East. In the month of February itself, the Income Tax department had conducted more than 30 surveys and detected undisclosed income of over Rs 50 crore with tax implication of more than Rs 15 crore.