3,301 people evaded taxes after three I-T officials tampered with the system.
Mumbai: The state anti-corruption bureau (ACB) has unearthed a tax evasion scam in Navi Mumbai where the tax collector and two of his colleagues allegedly tampered with the computerised tax system in such a manner that it did not print bills of 3,301 under-construction properties and made sure that the names of these property holders did not appear in the defaulters’ list.
The 3,301 individuals were allegedly helped by a Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) tax assessment officer, who is currently under suspension, for alleged irregularities committed by him that caused a loss of Rs 681 crore in taxes.
An offence has been registered with NRI police station in Navi Mumbai against chief tax assessor and collector Prakash Kulkarni, accountant Dinesh Gawari and computer operator Kishore Dhole. “The probe will find out the manner in which the racket functioned and provided illegal benefits to those who approached its operators. The officer had tampered with the department’s computerised database to ensure that the 3,301 people managed to pay less tax. A FIR has been filed, which also named two other NMMC employees, a computer operator and a clerk,” said an ACB officer.
After Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe took charge, he stumbled upon the scam and suspended Kulkarni in May 2016. Since then, ACB officials sorted out and studied 3,000 files from the NMMC office. A source said, “There are more than 20 thousand files in NMMC and they have just gone through 3,000 among them. They need to interrogate the accused for which they will soon take custody of the accused.”
He added, “There are three types of fraud we have found in the scam where they have also allegedly issued duplicate property bills and collected tax worth crores of rupees and changed tax valuation of 18 prime properties in Navi Mumbai. We will be conducting a search of 10 different properties and offices belonging to the three accused in the next five days.”