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Refuse to pay taxes if govt fails to curb graft: Bombay HC

Refuse to pay taxes if govt fails to curb graft: Bombay HC

Expressing anguish over growing corruption in government machinery and corporations, the Bombay High Court said that it’s high time citizens come together to fight this menace and can refuse to pay taxes if this “hydra-headed monster” is not eliminated.

The HC also asked the Director General of Police to probe and book those responsible for misappropriation and embezzlement of public money in various corporations, while hearing a case relating to a scam of Rs 385 crore which rocked the Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe Vikas Mahamandal–an organisation that was set up for welfare of the Matang scheduled caste community–in which sittingBJP MLA Ramesh Kadam emerged as the kingpin.

“If the same loot continues, taxpayers may resort to a ‘non-cooperation movement’ and refuse to pay taxes,” observed Justice Chaudhari of Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court.

“Do taxpayers pay the money to the government for such kind of acrobatics ? To eradicate the cancer of corruption, the “hydra-headed monster,” it’s now high time for citizens to come together to tell their governments that they have had enough of this miasma of corruption,” the High Court observed.

Echoing public sentiment on the issue, the court observed “let the government as well as mandarins in corridors of power understand the excruciating pain and anguish of tax payers who have been suffering for over two decades in the state of Maharashtra. There is an onerous responsibility on those who govern to prove to taxpayers that eradication of corruption would not prove for them a forlorn hope.”

Coming down heavily on Kadam and his accomplices, including bank officials who tweaked rules, the court stated “it shocks one and all as to the shameless manner in which the taxpayers’ money is being swindled, misappropriated and robbed by such unscrupulous holders of the posts.”

The money was meant for upliftment of Matang community but instead Kadam, along with the Managing Director of Sathe Mahamandal and Bank of Maharashtra officials, looted the tax payers’ money, it said.

Kadam is accused of misappropriating over Rs 130 crore from the funds of the Mahamandal.

“How this huge amount of Rs 385 crore will come back is a million dollar question,” the court said while noting that taxpayers are forced to merely look at this grim situation.
Earlier yesterday, the HC also rejected the anticipatory

bail application moved by Prahlad Pawar, the manager of Annabhau Sathe Mahamandal at Bhandara, who is charged with misappropriation of Rs 24.69 crore by transferring the amount in the name of bogus beneficiaries.

The court also wondered why various unions of central and state government employees, whether politically affiliated or otherwise, who demonstrate demanding higher wages, do not condemn, outcast or protest against their colleagues involved in corruption.

On the contrary, they provide support to such tainted persons, it observed and hoped that police machinery would ruthlessly act against such scamsters.

( Source – PTI )

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