CA association protests against arrest of two held in cheating case
A day after two Gurugram-based chartered accountants (CAs) were arrested for allegedly issuing audited statements of fake companies to claim input credit tax (ICT) to the tune of ₹15 crore, a group of CAs led by members of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) carried out a protest march on Saturday from a private hospital in Sector 38 to the district court, which remanded the two suspects in judicial custody for 14 days.
Stating that the two CAs are being made scapegoats in the case, the protestors demanded for their release and a CBI inquiry into the matter. The protestors said it should be probed how the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) officials approved the documents submitted by the CAs.
CA Naveen Garg, who was one of the participants of the protest march, said CAs from across the country came to take part in the protest. There were nearly 800 CAs who marched till the district court area on Saturday. “Both CAs were produced in court on Saturday and the decision on their bail has been reserved by the judge. We will protest until their release,” he said.
On Friday, the ICAI members protested at the CGST office in Sector 32 and said they would protest until their demands are met and the main culprits are not put behind the bars.
The case is related to the claims of ICT, allegedly made by fake companies. ICT is the tax that has already been paid when a good or service was purchased. The amount is deducted from total payable tax and refunded.
The two CAs--Sunil Mahalawat and Gaurav Dhir--were arrested for allegedly issuing audited account statements of fake companies through which ICT was claimed. These certificates, or statements, are necessary to claim ICT.
Mohit Singhal, chairman of ICAI, Gurugram, said both the CAs were called for questioning by the CGST officials on Wednesday and were illegally detained for over 24 hours. “They were arrested on Friday and harassed before a case was registered against them. Their family members were not even informed about their arrest,” said Singhal adding that the case should be investigated by the CBI.
Members of ICAI said no refund of this amount is possible without the involvement of a GST official.
Pradeep Yadav, another member of ICAI, said that a proper investigation should be carried out to know the exact sequence of events. “All the claims take at least a month for approval but in this particular case, it was approved within hours,” he said.
Protestors said rather than holding the CAs accountable, action should have been taken against the receiver that is a trader and the GST official for negligence of duty
Aman Yadav, assistant commissioner of police, Sadar police station, said they have registered a cheating case against the two CAs, who had filed a refund of ₹15 crore of GST. “The suspects had attested the documents and facilitated all official work, which helped in the release of the refund,” he said.
Yadav said they deployed police teams near the hospital and in court premises to ensure the protests were peaceful.
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