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Chandigarh suspends 3 excise, taxation inspectors

Action comes after two firms caught smuggling liquor

punjab Updated: Oct 01, 2017 12:40 IST
Hillary Victor 
Hillary Victor 
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Ajit Balaji Joshi,excise
Chandigarh UT deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi suspended the officials for dereliction of duty.(HT File)

UT deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi has suspended three excise and taxation inspectors for dereliction of duty.

Joshi, who holds the charge of excise and taxation commissioner, has also marked an inquiry to additional commissioner Rakesh Kumar Popli.

Inspectors Ravi Kumar and Sukhdev Singh were suspended after Haryana Police booked two Industrial Area distilleries — Cooperative, and Rock and Storm — for selling liquor in the state without permit.

Sources said police had seized three trucks of the two companies supplying liquor worth ₹1.5 crore in Sonepat. The UT administration issued show-cause notices to the two firms and also suspended the two inspectors.

Meanwhile, inspector Pratap Singh was suspended after he was found responsible for discrepancies in the records of another Industrial Area firm, Maurya Distillery.

A senior department official said the action was taken against the three inspectors as they were not performing their duties honestly. “A report will be submitted next week and action will be initiated accordingly,” he said.

Two left in dept amid high pendency

With the suspension of the three inspectors, the department is left with only four inspectors.

Of these, two are on leave — one has gone abroad and the other is on long leave.

Though the department earns ₹2,000-crore revenue every year, it has more than a lakh cases of refund of excess sales tax pending for the past two years.

The department officials claim the pendency is owing to an acute staff shortage.In a letter to the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA), the department has sought approval for filling 82 vacancies.

The department executes the Punjab Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, 2005, as extended to Chandigarh; the Central Sales Tax, 1956; the Motor Spirit Taxation Act; Passengers and Goods Act; Entertainment and Show Tax Act and the Punjab Excise Act, 1914.

Despite FIR, ETO gets extension

Even as acting on the court directions, the UT police on September 1 registered a case against three excise and taxation officers (ETOs), on the complaint of a liquor distributor, one of them — RL Chugh, who retired on September 30 — has got a one-year extension.

Former ETO Ravinder Kaushik was booked under Sections 379 (punishment for theft) and 166 (public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person) of the Indian Penal Code while present ETOs RL Chugh and Ramesh Bhateja were booked for criminal conspiracy under Section 120B at the Industrial Area police station.

A senior department official said the extension was granted after Chugh got regular bail from court.

DERELICTION OF DUTY Action comes after discrepencies found in records of a local distellery, two firms caught smuggling liquor to Haryana

Blurb: DC marks inquiry to additional excise, taxation commissioner, report expected by next week

First Published: Oct 01, 2017 12:30 IST