The Delhi Lokayukta on Friday slapped a notice on the government’s finance department claiming that it was trying to scuttle a preliminary inquiry into an alleged tax evasion case by Reliance Energy Ltd to the tune of Rs 129 crore VAT. The government has to reply to the notice within two weeks.
Justice Manmohan Sarin issued the notice under Section 11 of the Delhi Lokayukta and Uplokayukta Act 1995 to deputy secretary II (finance), following a complaint by an anonymous whistleblower. He had complained that a tax liability of Rs129.96 crore was levied on Reliance Energy Ltd in March 2006. After an appeal by the company, an additional commissioner III remanded the case to the assessing authority in January 2008. But in November 2008, he reviewed his own order and held that the appellant was exempted from payment of sales tax.
The documents provided by the whistleblower show that the administrative department had maintained that the discoms were not entitled to any exemption in the discoms’ writ petition before the high court against the assessment order. The complainant claimed that the administration department had sought the law department’s advice, which asked it to appeal against the subsequent review order of the additional commissioner III.