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CBI nabs service tax officer for taking 1,000 bribe
October, 21st 2011

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested Seema Vinayak Harchekar, superintendent of service tax at the office of the assistant commissioner of service tax at Excise Bhavan in Akurdi, for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000.

Harchekar (55) had allegedly demanded a bribe from Suresh S. Patil, working with M/s Challenge Auto Tech Private Limited for giving him the hard copy of the company's ST-II form.

According to the CBI, Patil had made numerous rounds of Harchekar's office, but she on some pretext or the other avoided giving him the hard copy form. Patil lodged a complaint with the CBI's anti-corruption bureau and the CBI officials nabbed Harchekar in her cabin while she was accepting bribe from Patil.

Inspector Alok Sinha produced Harchekar before special judge D R Mahajan on Thursday for seeking CBI custody for five days.

Special public prosecutor Ayub Pathan told the court that custodial interrogation of Harchekar was essential to probe the role of other officials in the case and to identify the number of cases pending with her. Pathan argued that the CBI needed time to find out Harchekar's modus operandi as certain things were known only to her.

Harchekar in a statement has said that the form ST-II relating to the company was ready on October 13, but no entry was made in the register. But, a search at her office has led to recovery of a register showing an entry that the form was delivered, Pathan said.

If Harchekar was not sent to the CBI custody she may tamper with the documents which are yet to be seized, the prosecution said. Pathan also complained that the suspect was not co-operating with the CBI and was giving vague and evasive replies.

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