High Court slams Commercial Taxes Department
Court Takes Serious Note Of Non-Recovery Of Taxes
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Sep 5: The state High Court Wednesday expressed displeasure over the way Commercial Taxes Department was handling the recovery of sales and commercial taxes from the defaulters.
A Division Bench of the High Court comprising First Puisne Judge Justice Virender Singh and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar passed strictures and expressed displeasure over the slow pace of recovery from the defaulters of the Sales Tax and VAT and also expressed anguish over the non-implementation of directions passed by it earlier.
In the detailed order passed by the Bench – after the Commercial Taxes Department filed its ATR (Action Taken Report) and list of defaulters - Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar observed that a perusal of the fresh status report filed by the State revealed that “all is not well in the Commercial Taxes Department”.
“Certain defaulters, whose complete addresses are given in the chart, are shown to be not traceable and some persons have been shown to be migrants but there is no material to show that serious and honest steps were taken in tracing out the whereabouts of such persons”, the Bench observed. The State authorities cannot be said to be helpless and hapless in tracing out the defaulters who have swindled the public exchequer of huge amount, the court held adding that serious efforts and effective steps are required to be taken for effecting recovery of taxes.
While expressing its displeasure, the Division Bench observed that the indirect taxes under the relevant Acts are being paid by every section of the society, which included those falling under the category of “Below Poverty Line” and those who are surviving by taking one meal a day.
“Because of the inaction and somewhere connivance of some of the officers of the Commercial Taxes Department, this huge amount recoverable as taxes is being illegally and unjustifiable retained by some dealers/sellers which in turn results in unjust and illegal enrichment of such persons, the amount which is required to be spent on the welfare programs and for the benefit of common man find its way into coffers of few individuals”.
“What is shocking for the conscious is that most of the people who are charged with the onerous duty to enforce the tax laws are not discharging their duties honestly, resultantly making the tax laws literally redundant and useless”, the court held.
The Bench asked the department to file fresh status report before the next date of hearing.
It is worthwhile to mention here that after an RTI expose a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed before the state high court, where the Commercial Taxes Department disclosed the list of defaulters including some top politicians and their kin.
Pertinently, as per the ATR filed by the Commercial Taxes Department in the High Court various business houses – including the ones owned by Minister of State for Home and kith and kin of some other political heavyweights from Congress and opposition PDP owe more than Rs 563 crore as sales and commercial taxes to the government.
The list of defaulters includes Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani S/O Bashir Ahmed Wani R/O Wani House Rajbagh, Srinagar. The minister is the proprietor of M/S Gilston Joinery Mills Zainakote, Srinagar.
The department states that the minister’s concern was in default of Sales Tax for the year 2005-06, 2006-07 for an amount of Rs 5,47,543.
The other prominent defaulters include Arshi Taj D/O Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control (BOSS Milk Pvt Ltd Satwari Jammu) and Highland Motors of Amjad Abbas and Imran Raza Ansari. While Amjad Ansari is the brother of PDP Vice-President Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, Imran Ansari is his son.
With regard to Arshi Taj daughter of Taj-Mohi-ud-Din, the department submitted that she has been declared defaulter for the year 2005-06, 2006-07 for an amount of Rs 523125.
Similarly, Amjad Abbas Ansari and Imran Raza Ansari were in default of payment of Rs Rs 18576708. The recovery proceedings have been stayed by State Sales Tax Tribunal for an amount of Rs 78788166 and for rest of the amount summon have been issued vide No 45/DCK/REC dated August 23, 2012, the department said in its report.
The other prominent defaulters include Power Grid Corporation of India for an amount of Rs 492429147.07, BSNL Rs 254506705 (matter sub-judice in High Court), Shiva Gun Factory Rs15774577 in the names of Dharam Chand s/o Sama Ram and Late Dhirandera Bramchari, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Rs 5259001.55, JAKFED BC Road Jammu through GL Abrol (authorized signatory) for an amount of Rs 2989878, ASCOMS Sidhra Jammu1331972.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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