The Punjab excise and taxation department has lodged an FIR against Amritsar resident Harish Kumar for having defrauded the government by importing cement worth Rs 4.4 crore from Pakistan in the name of a Delhi firm.
During cross-checking of data obtained from the customs department, Attari, the taxation department found that Kumar had made fraudulent entries of consignments. He had given registration numbers of three-wheelers, two-wheelers and cars for shifting imported cement from Attari to New Delhi.
Confirming this, Anurag Verma, excise and taxation commissioner, Punjab, stated that in order to check tax evasion, the department had started seeking cooperation from central government agencies. Data was sought from the customs authorities at Attari regarding cement imported from Pakistan. Scrutiny of the data revealed that cement worth Rs 4.4 crore had been imported and purchased in the name of M/s Kartika International, Delhi.
Verma said that when the goods to be sold in another state pass through Punjab, a transit entry ('behti') is required to be made. When it was checked in the computer database, it was found that 'behtis' were got generated from the information collection centre (ICC), railway station, Amritsar, for only nine vehicles, amounting to Rs 16 lakh.
He said verification was done from offices of the district transport officer, Amritsar and Jalandhar, regarding the vehicles. Of the six vehicles registered in Punjab, three registration numbers (PB02-BB-9488, PB02-P-9788 and PB02-B-9917) had been allotted to autorickshaws and one registration number (PB08-G-9944) had been allotted to a Maruti passenger car.
For the remaining amount (Rs 4.24 crore), the dealer did not even generate any transit entry.
Verma added that the customs authorities also shared a copy of the statement made before them under Section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962, by the president, truck union, Attari, in which he stated that the goods imported from Pakistan had been delivered in Punjab. Goods sent in the name of Kartika International were actually delivered within Punjab.
Further enquires revealed that the delivery had been taken by Kumar.
An FIR has been lodged against Kumar under sections 420, 467, 468 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other relevant provisions for causing a huge loss to the state exchequer.