The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested four income tax officials, including the Kanpur-based Director of Investigations, along with a leading builder to whom the tax officials were suspected to be extending undue favours.
Kunal Singh, the arrested director of investigations, was an officer of the 1987 batch of Indian Revenue Service.
Together with him, the CBI sleuths took into custody joint director (investigations) Ratan Singh, assistant income tax commissioner Uma Kant and income tax inspector Harish Dhaundhiyal.
Pankaj Bajaj, Managing Director of Eldeco Constructions, which has been under the scanner for large scale tax evasion, and the company's chartered accountant Anil Jaiswal were also arrested by the CBI.
Eldeco's offices in Delhi, Lucknow and other places were raised by the income tax department barely two months back, following which huge evasions were unearthed.
However, some heavy pay-off by the builder was alleged to have taken place to get the builder a clean-chit. Eldeco was well known as among the leading builders of Uttar Pradesh and the NCR.
The CBI action followed intelligence inputs about the "underhand deals" between officials of the investigations wing of the income tax department and the builder.
"We acted on a tip off about a big pay-off by the builder to the investigation wing top brass," disclosed a CBI source.
Interestingly, the raids on the builder were led by none other than investigations director Kunal Singh, who covers both UP and Uttarakhand.
A well-connected IRS officer, Kunal Singh is stated to be a close relative of former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan, who had also been a prominent Union minister during the BJP rule.
Ironically, more often than not, officials entrusted with the investigations wing of the income tax department were known for their dishonest ways. According to a senior CBI official, immense powers vested in the investigations wing were often misused by the officials for their personal pecuniary gains.