Court to hear arguments on charges against Burman on Jul 24

Court to hear arguments on charges against Burman on Jul 24
Court to hear arguments on charges against Burman on Jul 24

A Delhi court has fixed July 24 for hearing arguments on framing of charges in an alleged tax evasion case against Pradip Burman, one of the Dabur India promoters whose name has cropped up in the list given by the Centre to the Supreme Court on the black money issue.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Devendra Kumar Sharma put up the matter for arguments on framing of charges after concluding recording of pre-charge evidence.

“All the witnesses mentioned in the list of witnesses have been examined. Hence, pre-charge evidence stands closed. As prayed, put up on July 24 for arguments on charge,” the court said.

It has recorded statements of several income tax officials as pre-charge evidence in two alleged tax evasion cases involving Burman, who was earlier granted bail.

73-year-old Burman is facing prosecution in a complaint filed by the IT Department alleging that he was holding a foreign bank account which he has not disclosed in his IT returns and there were undisclosed deposits in that account.

The court had earlier recorded testimony of complainant Gaurav Dudeja, a senior Income Tax(IT) Department officer, who claimed that Burman has “wilfully attempted to evade tax” by not disclosing his foreign bank account in the initial return.

The officer had said that Burman also committed offence under the IT Act by not furnishing details or statements of the foreign bank account and wilfully made false statement during verification of his original income tax return.

Shortly after the disclosure in the Supreme Court in October last year, Dabur India promoter family, Burmans had said the account complied with all legal requirements.

“We wish to state that this account was opened when he (Pradip Burman) was an NRI, and was legally allowed to open this account,” a Dabur spokesperson had said in a statement.

Tax evation hits infrastructure development, says court

A Delhi court has upheld a two-year jail term given to a tax evader, saying tax avoidance reduced funds needed for the country’s infrastructure development.

Additional Session Judge S.S. Rathi made the observation Wednesday while upholding a magistrate court’s order that had awarded rigorous imprisonment of two years and fine of Rs.1 lakh to businessman Harish Chadha, convicted for tax evasion.

“The case in hand is a glaring example of tax avoidance. Our country is in dire need of funds for sprucing up the infrastructure. One can see rampant tax evasion all around,” said Rathi.

The judge said hardly five percent of the total population paid taxes.

“Even those assessed do not come out with true statements of earnings. The world over, tax authorities consider the instance of tax evasion as felony and they are dealt with very sternly,” said the judge.

The court said the convict tried every trick under their belt to avoid payment of tax dues at the peril of country’s development.

“They deserve to be dealt with sternly so that right message is sent to violators of tax laws that they should not expect any leniency,” the court said.

The court was hearing a revision petition filed by Chadha challenging a magistrate court order. The court has held him guilty of evading tax.

“It is beyond comprehension that a person who had earned Rs.six crore profit in a couple of years does not even have enough money to clear his income tax dues,” the court said.

“The plea of income tax authorities that convict had sufficient financial means to clear the dues is clearly evident from the convict’s balance-sheet as on March 31, 1995, filed by him on record along with Section 311 of the Criminal Procedure Code (power to examine person) application, which shows that other than profit of around Rs.6 crore earned by him, he had cash in hand a reserve of Rs.57.92 lakh,” said the court.

The prosecution said that Chadha had earned Rs.6 crore in 1995-96 but had not cleared his tax dues.

Most of the services to come under tax net from tomorrow

Services to come under tax net from tomorrow

All services will come under tax net from tomorrow on except those which are in the negative list with the implementation of the new service tax regime.

With the exception of 38 services, which figure in the negative list, all other activities would attract 12% tax. The government had earlier decided to implement the negative list from July 1.

Services like metered taxis, auto rickshaws, betting, gambling, lottery, entry to amusement parks, transport of goods or passengers and electricity transmission or distribution by discoms have been kept in the negative list.

Other important services which will not attract the tax include funeral, burial, mutate services and transport of deceased.

Coaching classes and training institutions will come under the net, though the tax will not be levied on school, university education and approved vocational courses.

However, confusion prevails with regard to the imposition of service tax on rail freight and passenger fares from tomorrow.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy has said railways will not introduce service tax on freight and fare from July 1 and has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is now looking after the Finance portfolio, in this regard.

The government has widened the definition of ‘Services’ to bring in more activities under the tax net. Till now, 119 services that come under ‘positive list’ are subject to the levy.

The new approach to taxation of services is intended to take the country and the economy a step closer towards the introduction of Goods and Service Tax.

Court asks Tata Sky, others to pay tax to Gujarat

The Gujarat High Court has asked TataSky and other direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV service providers to deposit entertainment tax for July-September 2010 quarter with the state government.

In the directions made available Monday, the bench comprising Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi directed TataSky Limited, Dish TV India Limited, Bharat Business Channel Limited and Bharti Telemedia Limited to deposit the tax due for the said quarter before Jan 17.

The court is hearing a case related to the question whether or not the DTH providers can be held liable to pay entertainment tax to the state government.

The court has also been requested to decide on whether or not the companies fall in the category of entertainment providers.

The petitioner companies approached the high court challenging an amendment to the entertainment tax provisions which enabled the government to levy tax on them for broadcast of entertainment channels.

The matter is slated to come up for final hearing Feb 14.

Mahesh Bhupathi’s plea on tax relief dismissed

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition by Indian tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi seeking tax relief on Rs.28,50,000 which he said his father spent on his training from 1989-90 to 1993-94.

Mahesh said that, as per the memorandum of understanding between him and his father C.G.K. Bhupathi, he has to pay annual installments of Rs.285,000 to return the money.

Tax sleuths conduct search operations on Games contractors

Officials of the Income Tax Department on Tuesday started search and investigative operations in at least 25 premises of companies and individuals who won lucrative contracts for the just-concluded Commonwealth Games. 

Among those whose premises were visited by the tax sleuths was senior leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sudhanshu Mittal, whose close relatives have won some Games contracts, a senior official of the department said.

“Let me clarify, these are search operations. The task assigned is to look into the books of accounts and related documents, examine the records and take custody of them, if necessary,” the official told .

“We are searching for irregularities, if any, in execution of contracts. We are looking at all contractors. Whoever the contractor is, we are looking. I can’t name any specific company or person,” the official added. The development follows a host of measures announced by the government since the 12-day Games drew to a close Oct 14 to look into allegations of misappropriation of funds and questionable procedures followed for award of contracts for various projects.

Among them, the tenure of officials associated with the Games was extended, even as the country’s top auditor said a report on its accounts and financial activities would be presented to parliament in three months. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also set up the high-level committee headed by former comptroller and auditor general V.K. Shunglu to look into all matters relating to the conduct and organisation of the Games.

The prime minister had also directed the ministries concerned to conduct thorough investigations into all complaints received of procedural and other irregularities and said that those found guilty should face severe and exemplary punishment. Among the various agencies conducting a probe are the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Directorate of Enforcement, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Central Vigilance Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.