Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested a senior official of the Central Public Works Department and a Chartered Accountant on charges of corruption in the assessment of a high- value property referred by the Income Tax Department.
Acting on reliable information, the agency’s Anti-Corruption Branch here registered a case against Sanjay Chinchghare, Superintending Engineer (Planning), CPWD, holding charge as District Valuation Officer of the Income Tax Valuation Cell, Southern Region; Manjunathan D. Duraisamy, Assistant Valuation Officer; Sadhguru Das, Chartered Accountant; and Suresh Arunagiri, of Chennai.
Chinchghare had jurisdiction over Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry for valuation of properties referred by the lncome Tax Department. Investigators received inputs that the Income Tax Department had referred a property belonging to Suresh Arunagiri at Anna Nagar East for valuation. Manjunathan, who inspected the property, observed a difference in the value to the tune of ₹26 lakh. When he contacted the owner, he referred him to Sadhguru Das for further discussion.
The official informed Sadhguru Das that he would submit his report to Chinchghare. However, when he tried to find out whether the party would be willing to negotiate, the Chartered Accountant assured Manjunathan that “what is to be done can be done”. Later, Sadhguru Das met the Superintending Engineer at his Besant Nagar residence, and a deal was struck. The Chartered Accountant asked Suresh Arunagiri to keep ₹3.5 lakh in a sealed cover for processing the work.
Acting on the input, CBI officials intercepted and took into custody Manjunathan and Sadhguru Das while the alleged bribe was paid. An amount of ₹2.25 lakh was recovered from the Assistant Vigilance Officer and the favourable letter/order in respect of the said property was recovered from the Chartered Accountant.
Searches, conducted on the premises of the accused persons, led to the recovery of incriminating documents/articles. The official and the Chartered Accountant were found in possession of ₹9 lakh and ₹1.25 lakh cash respectively.
The agency alleged that ₹1.25 lakh out of a total bribe of ₹3.50 lakh was taken by the Chartered Accountant as his fees for mediation. The two persons were produced in a special court for CBI cases and remanded in judicial custody.