Commercial vehicle tax scam in Mohali: Arrested duo embezzled nearly 70 lakh in a year

Published on Jun 10, 2022 02:35 AM IST

Hired on contract, the accused hold BCA degrees; but dissatisfied with their salaries, both started embezzling the commercial vehicle tax through a fake vehicle entry software, reveals vigilance probe

The accused, Harpal Singh (centre) and Salinder Singh (left), being produced in court in Mohali on Thursday. (HT Photo)
The accused, Harpal Singh (centre) and Salinder Singh (left), being produced in court in Mohali on Thursday. (HT Photo)
By, Mohali

The two employees arrested on Wednesday for siphoning off commercial vehicle tax at Punjab transport department’s check post in Lalru had been pocketing up to 20,000 every day for the past one year, causing a loss of nearly 70 lakh to the state exchequer, vigilance probe has found.

Hired on contract, the accused, Harpal Singh of Hasanpur village, Fatehabad, Haryana, and Salinder Singh of Bishanpura village, Zirakpur, hold bachelor of computer applications (BCA) degrees.

A senior official of the Vigilance Bureau said Harpal was hired for 20,000 per month, while Salinder was being paid 14,000 per month. Dissatisfied with their salaries and eyeing quick money, both started embezzling the commercial vehicle tax through a fake vehicle entry software and bogus stamps, which have been recovered.

Recruited by the State Transport Authority, they were deputed at the Tax Collection Centre in Jharmari, Lalru, Mohali and used to work six days a week.

Around 100 commercial vehicles cross the Lalru check post every day. Vehicles not registered in Punjab are required to pay tax for entering or passing through the state. The tax can be paid online by the vehicle driver/owner or deposited at the tax collection centres.The tax for AC bus is 5,000 per entry, non-AC bus 3,000, chassis 2000, while entry charges for cabs range between 200 and 300 per entry.

During interrogation, the duo admitted that they siphoned off the tax without the involvement of any senior official. As far as the third accused, Parveen Kumar, is concerned, the official said he was deputed at the Kharar collection centre and the accused would call him once or twice a week.

The bureau is now working on arresting the person who developed the fake software.

The arrested employees were produced in a Mohali court on Thursday and sent to two-day police remand.

They are facing a case under Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc.), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 7, 7A, 13(1) (A) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Hillary Victor is a Principal Correspondent at Chandigarh. He covers Chandigarh administration, municipal corporation and all political parties.

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