Officials of the Excise Department have booked a two-wheeler seller for evading VAT to the tune of lakhs by showing bogus sales worth crores to the Canteen Store Department (CSD) of the Indian Army for the past nine years.
Since VAT is exempted on the sale of vehicles to the CSD, the dealer was concealing the everyday sale and instead, showing bogus sale with fake bills to the CSD.
The FIR has been lodged against Shakti Autos, operating on GT Road, without mentioning its owner’s name, selling TVS two-wheelers.
The FIR is registered at the Kotwali police station for cheating, forgery, forgery of valuable security, forgery for purpose of cheating, using a forged document as genuine and criminal conspiracy.
Shakti Autos is accused of showing bogus sale with fake bills to the CSD in Pathankot, Jalandhar and Bathinda.
The complainant, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (VAT), Patiala, had stated that Shakti Autos was showing bogus sales since 2007.
A detailed inquiry was conducted by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EUI). The Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC) of the EUI, in his report submitted to the department, stated that Shakti Autos claimed to having sold two-wheelers to the CSD in Pathankot, Jalandhar and Bathinda from 2007-08 to 2015-16.
The area manager of the CSD depot, Pathankot, in its letter (PKD/ACCTS/683 dated September 2, 2016), however, stated that no purchases were made from Shakti Autos during this period.
Similarly, the area manager of CSD Jalandhar (letter no JUD/AFD-1/1254 dated September 2, 2016) denied having purchased any two-wheelers from Shakti Autos. All the sales were made to CSD Bathinda.
The AETC stated that the letters of denials by CSD Pathankot and Jalandhar proved that Shakti Autos made false claims of selling their two-wheelers to the CSD. The difference between the total sale to the CSD and the actual sale is of Rs 1.81 crore on which the auto dealer was supposed to pay VAT of around of Rs 22 lakh, the AETC said.
Bathinda AETC Pawan Garg said though he was not aware of minute details in the case, which was registered by his counterparts in Patiala, all he knew was the fact that Shakti Autos had now paid Rs 50 lakh, including the fine of evading taxes.
As per the report of the EIU, the bogus and excess sale shown by the dealer for the financial years 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11 to 2015-16 was Rs 2.26 crore.
Surprisingly, the AETC (VAT) also stated in the FIR that during the year 2009-10, the dealer had shown CSD sale to the tune of Rs 45 lakh.
The AETC further said there was a possibility that the dealer might be hoodwinking the state exchequer by producing/using, fake/bogus tax receipts.
But, it is clear that the dealer acted in a clandestine manner by filing incorrect returns with the government department by concealing the facts and in the due course, embezzled the government revenue, which was legitimately due to the state, the AETC added.
The owner of Shakti Autos could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. One of the sale managers, Sukaant, while talking to Bathinda Tribune over the phone claimed that the fraud was committed by a former manager of the showroom.