Upa Lokayukta seeks report on vehicle tax dues in Karnataka

Upa Lokayukta seeks report on vehicle tax dues in Karnataka

Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi has directed the Transport department to submit a report on total tax dues in respect of vehicles in the state. The report was sought in the wake of an enquiry which revealed that Ramanagaram alone has motor vehicle tax arrears to the tune of Rs 2 crore since 2005.

A complaint was filed with the Lokayukta alleging that tax on several vehicles had not been collected by Ramangaram regional transport office as the officials were hand in glove with vehicle owners. “Following an investigation, it was found that tax to the tune of more than Rs 2 crore was due in respect of 27 vehicles during the period 2005 to 2010. There has been no serious action to recover the tax due,’’ an official said.

The official said that action should have been taken as per Section 11 Rule 27A of Motor Vehicles Act which also attracts seizure of the vehicle. The official from Ramanagaram RTO submitted that out of total 27 vehicles, tax totalling to Rs 41.23 lakh from five vehicles could not be recovered as the vehicles owners had approached the court.

The records produced by the RTO Ramanagaram show that except in one or two cases, no action was taken till August 2015.

“The department has taken several years just to issue the demand notice. This reflects either the district RTO officials are negligent or are appear to be hand in glove with defaulting vehicle owners. Motor Vehicle Act and Motor Vehicle Taxation Rules empower the authority to recover the dues promptly,’’ Justice Adi stated in the direction.

The Ramanagaram RTO officials said in some cases vehicle owners could not be traced, while in some other cases the vehicles would have been seized by the banks for default in repaying the loan.

With Rs 2 crore tax due in just one RTO jurisdiction, the Upa Lokayukta has directed the officials to submit the district-wise report as to the total tax due in the state and the action to recover it, taken by October 12.

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