Officials aiding tax evaders, says Lokayukta complaint

Officials aiding tax evaders, says Lokayukta complaint

Complainant alleges staff at transport, customs depts help owners, dealers of high-end cars avoid duties

Officials aiding tax evaders, says Lokayukta complaint

  A private complaint was filed in the Special Lokayukta Court on Monday alleging that officials from the Transport Department and Customs Department were cheating the State by helping car owners and dealers evade tax and duties imposed on high-end luxury cars.

  Advocate Jagadeesha B N has alleged that fake invoices are produced while importing luxury cars to India in which the cost of the vehicle was shown to be much less than the actual cost, avoiding the proper duty. The complaint alleges that fictitious documents are created to claim exemption from payment of customs duty. According to the Department of Revenue Intelligence, some of these cars were stolen from countries like UK, Japan and France and were brought to India via Dubai and other places, Jagadeesha contended.  

False documents 

When these cars were brought to the office of the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) with false documents like bill of entries including purchases order, import licence and bill of lading in Bangalore, the RTO officials were bribed to register these vehicles. Once the vehicles were registered they were sold in different places in India by getting a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the RTO offices which had registered the vehicles in the illegal manner, he said.  Stating that approximately 500 cars belonging to different manufacturers were bought to India in the last financial year by paying only three per cent of import duty, Jagadeesh cited the example of a Bentley.  

Minimal price

“The ex-showroom value of Bentley Flying Spur, which is the minimal price for any Bentley car in UK is Rs 1.14 crore and the three per cent of import duty that is Rs 3.43 lakh in a place where 100 per cent is supposed to be paid.

 Thus there is a loss of 97 per cent of customs tax at the entry level which comes to Rs 1.11 crore. While registering this vehicle it is registered for Rs 1.17 crore, instead of being registered at the value of Rs 2.29 crore.  Imposing 18 per cent of road tax brings the total tax amount to Rs 41.23 lakh. Thus the total loss of revenue per vehicle, including customs duty and road tax, aggregates to Rs 1.31 crore.” He has sought an investigation by the Lokayukta police and the matter has been posted until Tuesday pending orders.