The crime branch of the Chandigarh Police submitted a supplementary chargesheet against three persons, including two employees of the Excise and Taxation department of Chandigarh, in the case pertaining to evasion of VAT amount (Value Added Tax) from the Excise and Taxation Department of the UT to the tune of Rs 66 crore.
The chargesheet was filed in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Sanjeev Joshi, under the Section 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 420 (cheating), 466 (Forgery of record of Court or of public register, etc), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using as genuine a forged) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and the Section 13 (1)(d) read with Section 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The case was filed against accused Shipali Sharma, a data entry operator on contractual basis at the Excise and Taxation department, Ram Tirath, a former employee of the Excise and Taxation department, and Ankit Aggarwal, an agent allegedly involved with the accused. Whereas, the chargesheet against the director of Ind-Swift firm, NR Munjal and his employee Bipin Mishra, was already filed, bail was granted to the duo.
According records, the fraud pertains to 2011, when the Chandigarh Excise and Taxation department during the analysis of the returns found that Rs 5.93 crore VAT was outstanding for which the taxation authority issued a demand notice to Ind-Swift.
In 2018, the advisor to the administrator, Parimal Rai, issued a notice to the company Ind-Swift, on which the company then produced four orders to the Taxation department, as per which, they had paid their VAT assessed amount. However, the assessment authorities learnt that the orders were forged.
To detect the forgery, the Income Tax authorities conducted an inquiry and found that the accused Bipen Mishra, an employee of Ind-Swift firm had managed to assess the computer system in the IT office through an agent and logged in to the system and changed 55 entries in the computer with connivance of an agent, who got it done through an employee of the department in March 2015.
Mishra, who was arrested by the Vigilance, disclosed that he took Rs 3.50 lakh from NR Munjal, MD of company Ind-Swift to procure the order in favour of the company with connivance of an agent. Later, the VAT assessing authority found that the firm Ind-swift had evaded the VAT amount from the Excise and Taxation Department of UT of Rs 66 crore.
The crime branch learnt during the investigation that a copy of the ledger, highlighting the amount of transaction between Ind Swift Limited and Mishra, revealed that on different occasions, amount were paid to Mishra by the Shipali Sharma on the pretext of Sales Tax matters.
During further investigation, list of cases entry, which were forgedly shown in Electronic VAT Disposal Register were scrutinised in many cases and the owner of the different companies had disclosed that the final VAT Assessment Order of designated officer for financial year 2009 to 2014 were being provided by Ankit Aggarwal or Ram Tirath or in some cases by both Ankit Aggarwal and Ram Tirath.
During the course of the investigation, the Excise and Taxation Department had supplied 884 cases of fake entries, which were scrutinised on the basis of the IP address used for making the entries. From the scrutiny, it was revealed that Shipali Sharma, while using the IP address allotted to her, had made 400 forged entries in the Electronic VAT Disposal Register to show that VAT assessment was finalised, whereas, infact nothing was carried out in the actual record.