5 years jail for IRS officer in corruption case

5 years jail for IRS officer in corruption case

An IRS officer has been awarded a five-year jail term by a court here for accepting a bribe of Rs eight lakh from a Delhi-based pharmaceutical company.

Special CBI judge Dinesh Kumar Sharmahanded down the jail term to Satish Kumar, the then Additional Director (Investigation), Income Tax, at Meerut, after holding him guilty under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court also imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on the 1989 batch Indian Revenue System (IRS) official saying "if the corruption is done by the senior officers then it deserves special treatment."

"I consider that a message must go that nobody is above law and that indulging in corruption is a risky proposition. The society looks upon the court in appropriate cases for a maximum punishment so as to have deterrent effect on the society at large," the judge said.

CBI had filed a charge sheet against Kumar on a complaint made in April 2006 by Ramesh Juneja, the managing director of Mankind Pharma Ltd, who alleged that the IRS officer had demanded Rs 30 lakh from him.

"On May 20, 2006 the complainant (Juneja) met Kumar at his residence and in the said meeting accused threatened to initiate investigation against the complainant and demanded a bribe of Rs 30 lakh to avoid such harassment.

"After negotiation, the bribe amount was reduced to Rs 10 lakh," the CBI had said, adding that later on only Rs 8 lakh was paid to Kumar.

However, Kumar pleaded innocence and told the court that Juneja was visiting his office as he was his neighbour and was friendly with him. Kumar had stated that he was not aware that the income tax returns of the complainant were being filed at Meerut.

He had also said that no inquiry was contemplated against Juneja or was pending with him or in his office and he had neither threatened the complainant nor asked him to meet him at his residence.

The court, however, brushed aside Kumar's submission and said, "It may be recalled that it has been established on record that convict demanded and accepted a bribe of Rs 8 lakhs from the complainant Ramesh Juneja..."

"The IRS officers are generally at a very sensitive positions and handle the revenue matters of public at large and ultimately of the entire nation. The corruption in any form, at any stage and by any public servant, on whatsoever position he/she is, is condemnable," the court said.

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