IT officer, wife jailed in disproportionate assets case

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Thane (Maharashtra), May 25 (IANS) A former Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, his wife and a close relative have been sentenced to jail in a case pertaining to disproportionate assets, a CBI officer said here on Friday.

Thane Additional Sessions Special Judge V.V. Bambarde pronounced the three guilty in the case lodged by the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2007, said prosecution officer A.B. Satpute.

Pankaj J. Garg, former Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Circle IV, Thane West, has been sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 25,000, and another six months in case of failure to cough up the penalty.

Besides, his wife Babita Garg and close family member Arul J. Garg have both been jailed for a year and fined Rs 10,000 each for abetment and conspiracy in the offence, and an additional three months each if they fail to pay the penalty.

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The CBI-ACB investigated the matter following a complaint lodged by a Mumbai anti-corruption activist J.P. Vaghani against some IT Thane officers for demanding bribes.

“During investigations into this corruption case filed in 2006, we stumbled upon huge amounts of cash and other assets owned by the accused, disproportionate to his known official sources of income, and also in the name of his family members.

“Thereafter, a separate case was lodged by the CBI in which the conviction has been given by the honourable court recently,” Satpute said.

Special Judge Bambarde has also ordered that a property owned by them in Faridabad in Haryana be confiscated and auctioned and the proceeds deposited in the government treasury.

Public Prosecutor (CBI) Rahul Agarwal said additionally, the Special Court has ordered that the seized Rs 23.71 lakh in cash should also be deposited with the government.

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Satpute said this is the first time a high-ranking senior government officer along with his close family members has been found guilty and jailed in a disproportionate assets case.

However, the main corruption case of demanding a bribe of Rs 2.75 lakh, lodged against Garg, an IRS 1987 batch officer, and two other senior IT officers, is still pending before the court, he added.

In that case lodged by Vaghani on December 11, 2006, the other co-accused are IT Commissioner Anil Mallal and Assistant Commissioner IT S.L. Tekwani.

–IANS

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