The CBI has asked the revenue department of the finance ministry to conduct an inquiry to determine if orders issued by income tax appellate authorities in 75 cases, where private parties benefited at the expense of the government, were in accordance with law.
Over investigations spanning two years, CBI sleuths stumbled upon evidence suggesting that certain documents retrieved from the computers of a chartered accountancy firm were created prior to their issuance in the form of orders by appellate authorities.
This pointed to a nexus between the private persons and the appellate authorities. The CA firm seemed to have been a tout between the appellate authorities and the appellants, causing the government to lose out on crores of rupees.
“The multiplicity of orders, involvement of a large number of senior officials throughout the country and the quantum of money involved points towards widespread irregularities in the mode of functioning of the various appellate bodies connected with the IT department,” a senior CBI official said.
In 2008, the CBI registered a case against Jugal Kishore, member, accountant, IT Appellate Tribunal, Ravi Tulsiyan of S.K. Tulsiyan and Company (Chartered Accountants), Subhash of Mayank Securities and Nishant Jain. The case was registered when the CBI recovered Rs 28 lakh from Kishore’s residence. The money had allegedly been paid to him by Jain on behalf of Subhash and on instructions of the CA firm.
Subsequently, the CBI seized the computers from the firm. Scrutiny of the disks led to the retrieval of 75 documents that showed striking similarity with 69 orders issued by ITATs in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and six orders issued by Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) of Kolkata. The documents were created before the issuance of the orders.