CBI registers case against I-T tribunal vice-president

Alleges amassing assets worth Rs 3.92 crore

The CBI has booked  G E Veerbhadrappa, a vice-president of Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), for allegedly amassing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 3.92 crore after searching his premises in Bangalore and Mumbai.

Veerbhadrappa, from Bellary and is due to retire from service in two days, refuted the charges and alleged a conspiracy by senior Law Ministry officials to harass him for not obliging to the request to transfer two officials.

According to CBI officials, the chartered accountant who rose to become ITAT vice-president, amassed assets worth Rs 3.92 crore disproportionate to his known source of income during 2003 and 2013.

After the registration of the case under Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(e) of Prevention of Corruption Act on Monday, the investigators conducted searches at Bangalore and Mumbai.

If convicted, Veerbhadrappa faces imprisonment for a period not less than one year and up to seven years along with fine. Sources said the agency has collected incriminating documents from the two premises it searched. The agency has also booked at least two other members of the ITAT in similar cases in other parts of the country but refused to provide details citing that it may affect the ongoing probe against them.

Rejecting the charges, Veerbhadrappa told Deccan Herald from Mumbai, “This case is part of personal vendetta. I am an upright and honest judicial officer and some people are trying to implicate me.”

Veerbhadrappa, who joined ITAT in 1990 and rose to the post of vice-president in 2005, claimed he was not allotted a bench for the past six months. “I was promoted in 2005 to be vice-president by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet and in 2011, I was made (officiating) president. There was no case against me then. There was a background check. So do they want to say now that I amassed this much money in 2012 and 2013,” he said.

He said all his asset is declared to the government and to the Income-Tax department.
The confrontation between Veerbhadrappa and the government is on for sometime after the latter approached Central Administrative Tribunal for not making him a full-time president of ITAT.

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