The CBI filed a charge sheet against journalist Upendra Rai and his associate Rahul Sharma for allegedly extorting Rs 15 crore from a Mumbai-based builder, officials said Friday.
It is alleged that Mr Rai portrayed himself as a “power broker” in the Income Tax Department and threatened action against the builder if payment was not made, they said.
The agency has not named any tax department official in its charge sheet and has kept the probe open, the officials said.
The agency 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.
Mr Rai had approached Kapil Wadhawan, a relative of the promoters of the company, in September last year as a “power broker” of the tax department, Mr Malhotra had alleged.
Putting his influential journalist card ahead, Mr Rai had claimed that he had sensitive information from the tax department relating to the companies associated to White Lion, and had threatened that action may be taken against the company under the Benami Act as well.
When Mr Wadhawan met Mr Rai at his GK-1 Delhi residence during which Mr Rai showed him a bunch of documents of the IT department wherein action was contemplated against various companies, including White Lion, for which he demanded Rs 15 crore to settle the issue.
A consultancy agreement was signed to route the payment demanded by Mr Rai, the agency has alleged.
A sum of Rs 15 crore was paid by the company to Mr Rai’s HDFC Bank account between October 2017 and April this year, the CBI has alleged.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has chargesheeted Rai and Sharma for alleged criminal conspiracy and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.