The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed a chargesheet against journalist Upendra Rai and his associate Rahul Sharma for allegedly extorting Rs 15 crore from a Mumbai-based real estate company, officials said.
The officials said that the CBI had not named any tax department official in its charge sheet and has kept the probe open.
The CBI had registered the case on the complaint of one Balvinder Singh Malhotra, Director of Mumbai-based M/s White Lion Real Estate Developers Pvt Ltd.
It was alleged that Rai approached Kapil Wadhawan, a relative of the promoters of the company in September 2017, portraying himself as a “power broker” in the Income Tax Department and threatened action against the builder if payment was not made.
Rai had claimed that he had sensitive information from the tax department relating to the raids to be conducted on the companies associated to White Lion, and had threatened that action may be taken against the company under the Benami Act as well.
Subsequently, when Wadhawan met Rai at his GK-1 Delhi residence, Rai showed him a bunch of documents of the IT department wherein action was contemplated against various companies, including White Lion.
The CBI alleged that Rai demanded huge amount of money to settle the issue with the I-T department and adverse media reporting and said that Rai had claimed that he had contacts in I-T office, Scindia House, Mumbai.
“A sum of Rs 15 crore was paid by the company to Rai’s HDFC Bank account between October 2017 and April this year,” the CBI alleged.
The CBI has chargesheeted Rai and Sharma for alleged criminal conspiracy and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
(With inputs from agencies)