BBMP tax collectors charged with fraud

Three bill collectors attached to Herohalli sub-division help centre of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike have been accused of cheating people in the name of property tax collection. 

Briefing reporters, BBMP Officers’ and Employees’ Association President R Subramanyam said three bill collectors — M G Karthik, C Janardhan and G Santosh Kumar  -  were collecting property tax from public, but not remitting the amount to Palike.

 “ The matter was reported to us on June 5 by two revenue officials – Shivaiah (Assistant Revenue Officer) and Shiva Kumar (First Division Assistant) who were transferred to the help centre three months ago. Though they had informed about the tainted bill collectors to higher officials on March 25, no action had been taken. We learnt that they have been trying to re-transfer the two revenue officers fearing threat. We demand an inquiry into the collection of property tax at all the help centres of the Palike since 2007,” Subramanyam said.

According to Palike sources, while the amount of money misappropriated by the three collectors from 2007 was not known, the misused property tax amount for March and April is estimated to be around Rs 36 lakh. Apart from three bill collectors, about 10 people have been found to be involved in issuing bogus tax receipts and fake khatas, sources added.

Members from Employees’ Association maintained that G Santosh Kumar was earlier accused of similar conduct and the Revenue Department of the BBMP had issued him a notice in September 2012. However, there has been no further action by the authorities.

“ The notice was sent to a few bill collectors from other divisions of City last year for issuing fake khatas and misusing property tax, but till date they have not been suspended," another member said.

The members also met BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana. The commissioner, they said, had assured them of taking legal action against guilty collectors. He also said action would be initiated against officials who despite knowing about tainted officers, ignored the matter and delayed action against them.

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