A special CBI court has sentenced a sales tax superintendent of the Central Excise, Pune, to one-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) for accepting a bribe of Rs 25,000 in 2009. The court, however, acquitted another officer for want of evidence.
Special judge Sudhakar Yarlagadda also imposed a fine of Rs 40,000 on Prakash Kamlakar Barawkar (60), failing which he will have to undergo additional imprisonment of six months.
According to the CBI, Barawkar had demanded Rs 55,000 to issue service tax refund claim of Rs 19.29 lakh to an IT firm owner Chandresh Mehta, which was being delayed by the Central Excise officials despite repeated communication on Mehtaís behalf. Following negotiations, the bribe amount was reduced to Rs 25,000. Meanwhile, Mehta lodged a complaint with anti-corruption bureau of the CBI.
On June 17, 2009, CBI sleuths caught Barawkar red-handed while accepting the bribe in presence of Assistant Commissioner Dilip Haribhau Utpat, who was also arrested.
In July, 2010, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Barawkar and Utpat on charges of criminal conspiracy and other sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act. Special public prosecutor Vivek Saxena examined five witnesses to prove the charges against the accused. However, Utpat was acquitted due to lack of evidence.