The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday registered a case against Additional Commissioner of the TDS wing of the income tax (I-T) department in Mumbai, Vivek Batra, and his wife for allegedly possessing disproportionate assets and conducted searches in at least 10 locations across the country. The probe agency has also registered a case against the managing director of Alok Industries Dilip Jiwarjika, the managing director of Viraj Profiles Ltd Neeraj Kumar, and Mumbai-based chartered accountant Shirish Shah for helping Batra and his wife park the allegedly ill-gotten money in various classes of assets, said a CBI source familiar with the case.
“It has been alleged that the Additional Commissioner (during the period from April 2008 to April 2017), while working as a public servant, had acquired huge assets both movable and immovable in his name and in the name of his family members, which are beyond his known sources of income, abetted by his wife and other accused persons. It is also alleged that the accused had acquired assets worth of Rs 6.79 crore till April 2017 while his total income was Rs 1.43 crore,” said RK Gaur, CBI spokesperson.
On Friday, the CBI conducted searches in Delhi, Mumbai. Goa, Thane, Silvassa and Karnal in connection with the case and recovered several incriminating documents, sources said.
Incidentally, the Jiwarjika-led Alok Industries is one of the 12 companies identified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as among the country’s biggest loan defaulters. Alok Industries owe Rs 22,075 crore to lenders. According to RBI, these 12 accounts owe Rs 2.5 trillion to the system, which constitute around 25 per cent of gross bad loans.
Lenders to Alok Industries have filed an insolvency plea against the firm under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The move by lenders follows the RBI directive to lenders to initiate Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) against the company. The Ahmedabad bench of NCLT has admitted the petition against Alok Industries. Alok Industries reported a consolidated loss of Rs 3,071 crore on an income of Rs 8,919 crore in 2016-17. It had booked a loss of Rs 4,367 crore on a revenue of Rs 12,929 crore in 2015-16.
This is not the first time that Batra, an IRS Officer of 1992 Batch, has come under the CBI scanner. In October 2012, Batra was chargesheeted by the CBI in a separate disproportionate assets case. At that time CBI booked Batra under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, for allegedly amassing property worth Rs 1.27 crore, disproportionate to his known sources of income, between January 4, 1993 and March 31, 2004. It claimed the additional I-T commissioner accumulated wealth in the name of his wife and son and that he had links with two benami companies.