Man jailed for illegally keeping Shahtoosh shawls

Man jailed for illegally keeping Shahtoosh shawls
Man jailed for illegally keeping Shahtoosh shawls

A man accused of possessing five Shahtoosh shawls made of Tibetan Antelope, an endangered animal, has been sentenced to one year imprisonment by a Delhi court.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Devendra Kumar Sharma held Arif Qureshi, who was having a shop at Delhi Haat in South Delhi, guilty of keeping the shawls whose trade and possession are banned under the Wild Life (Protection) Act.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on Qureshi.

It allowed his plea seeking suspension of sentence to enable him to file an appeal against the conviction and jail term before a superior court. The court granted him bail for one month to file appeal against this judgement.

“It is held that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused that five shawls were recovered from his possession…

“From the statement of prosecution witnesses and quantity of recovered shawls, it is clear that accused was indulged in the business of Shahtoosh shawls without any permit or licence. The said shawls were made of/derived from Tibetan Antelope which are specified in Schedule?I of the Act and thus accused has contravened the provisions of the Act,” the court said.

According to the prosecution, in November 1996, on a tip-off, a raid was conducted by the Wild Life Preservation Office of Ministry of Environment and Forests that a person was dealing in Shahtoosh shawls at his shop in Delhi Haat.

Qureshi was present at the shop and five Shahtoosh shawls were recovered from his possession, the prosecution said, adding that he had confessed that he was dealing in such shawls but failed to produce any certificate/licence required to deal in them.

It said the recovered shawls were alleged to be made of Tibetan Antelope which was an endangered animal and since the trade or possession of such shawls were banned under the Act, the case properties were seized.

During the trial, Qureshi denied all material allegations levelled against him.

Court penalises pvt firm in tax evasion case

A private firm has been penalised with a fine of Rs eight lakh in a tax evasion case by a Delhi court which noted that increasing cases of tax evasion by firms has been causing huge loss to the state exchequer and needed to be curbed with a firm hand.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Devendra Kumar Sharma held the firm, Radiant Polymers Pvt Ltd, guilty of not depositing the deducted amount of TDS with the Income Tax Department within stipulated time.

The court imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on the firm for the financial year 2008-09 being first time offence.

Apart from this, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh each for the financial years 2009-10 and 2010-11 on the firm being subsequent offence committed after commission of the first one.

“Evasion of tax by companies/persons in one form or the other by not depositing TDS or other taxes within prescribed time by a company, is rising day-by-day which causes huge loss to government exchequer and such practice should be curbed with a firm hand.

“In this case, admittedly the convict (firm) was under obligation to deposit the TDS amount within stipulated period from the date of deduction but same was not deposited and there was a delay,” the court said, adding that the delay was unexplained.

According to the Income Tax Department, the firm had deducted TDS amount of Rs 29.1 lakh, Rs 24.8 lakh and Rs 24.6 lakh for the financial years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively from salaries of its employees.

It said despite having knowledge of deducting TDS and to deposit in within stipulated time as per the Income Tax Act, the company showed “ignorance and deliberately diversified funds” for other purposes.

The firm submitted that entire TDS and penalty/interest has been deposited with the IT department.

The firm’s counsel said the delay in depositing the amount was due to financial crunch and it had to first clear the dues of salary of 300 employees.