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Tuesday, 3 November 2020

VAT scam: Year after CM’s order, FIRs yet to be filed

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2

Despite CM Manohar Lal Khattar approving registration of FIRs against excise and taxation officials and bogus firms in the multi-crore VAT scam last year, cases have not been registered in Gurugram, Kaithal and Panipat.

In Sirsa alone, FIRs were lodged against four officials and firms on October 28 this year, though orders were issued on November 8, 2019.

In Gurugram, as per a letter from the excise and taxation commissioner to the deputy excise and taxation commissioners (DETCs) on November 22, 2019, the CM had approved registration of FIRs against 29 dealers of the district, unidentified public servants and others. But nothing happened despite a reported loss of Rs 500-Rs 1,000 crore to the exchequer. About 10 officials could also be booked here.

"The vetting is going on. Soon, the FIRs will be lodged," said DETC (east) SS Siwatch.

In Kaithal, there are 23 cases of three firms. Here too, the commissioner had written to the DETC for registration of FIRs on November 8, 2019. In Panipat, there are 23 cases of bogus firms.

The allegations pertain to issuance of registration certificate to bogus dealers, non-adherence to department's guidelines for issuance of 'C' and 'F' forms and no checking of usage of previously issued forms.

Haryana Lokayukta had constituted an SIT under IGP Shrikant Jadhav after receiving a complaint from Satbir Singh of Kaithal. After receiving similar complaints from other parts of the state, the scope of the SIT was widened and it carried out a fact-finding exercise in other parts of the state.

The SIT report found out how big companies, traders and developers in connivance with department officials filed bogus VAT returns or evaded tax. It claimed fraud of Rs 10,000 crore across the state.


Bogus returns by department officials and firms in the multi-crore VAT scam last year led to Rs 10,000-cr loss to state exchequer

from The Tribune

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