CBI likely to register cases against members of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal
May, 15th 2012
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to register cases against more than 20 members of different benches of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) for alleged corruption and collusion while dealing with various cases. Official sources said that the agency has gathered sufficient evidence against these members for allegedly "conspiring with private persons to pass favourable orders".
The ITAT is a quasi-judicial body and has benches in Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Indore, Nagpur and Patna among others. The two-member bench is selected by a board chaired by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.
"The CBI has received evidence on alleged irregularities being done by ITAT members. Over 50 orders passed by these members are being scrutinized by the agency. The orders clearly indicate criminal collusion and corruption," a source claimed.
He said the names of some noted chartered accountancy firms have also come up during the preliminary probe.
"Some fresh cases may be registered against ITAT members and personnel of the chartered firms," the source added.
The CBI had on May 13, 2008, registered a case against Jugal Kishore, an ITAT member from Kolkata, for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 30 lakh from an accounting firm to deliver favourable orders to its client.
A chargesheet has been filed by CBI in January before a Kolkata special court against Kishore and five other persons, including the owner of accounting firm (S K Tulsiyan and Company), S K Tulsiyan, Sashi Tulsiyan, Ravi Tulsiyan besides middle men Subhash Chand Barjatiya and Nishant Jain.
The agency had alleged that Kishore demanded bribe of Rs 30 lakh from the accounting firm for undue favours extended to them in Income Tax matters of various parties before the Tribunal. "The Tulsiyans were acting as a tout to Jugal Kishore and were the middlemen and prepared orders on behalf of the members of ITAT, Kolkata and manipulated orders," a CBI spokesperson had said.
The most glaring case is that of the tribunal's Kolkata bench - as many as 12 of its orders were recovered from Tulsiyan's hard discs before these were delivered - the CBI had alleged. The agency had during searches conducted at Kishore's residence recovered Rs 28 lakh of `bribe money' and the remaining Rs two lakh was found in a briefcase with Jain and Barjatiya.
Later, during the searches at the offices of the accounting firm, the CBI had claimed to have recovered nearly 14 computer discs carrying over 70 pre-dated judgements which were delivered in various benches of the tribunal.