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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Take action against officials who failed to collect taxes: Madras HC

The notice sought to recover the sales tax arrears for 2000-01 and 2001-02.

By: PTI | Chennai |
July 29, 2021 8:31:28 am
The Madras High Court in Chennai (File)

The Madras High Court has directed the Commercial Taxes department to issue suitable orders to all subordinate authorities to identify the cases where no actions are taken or taken belatedly after efflux of time regarding collection of tax or arrears of tax.

Issuing the directions to the Secretary, Commercial Taxes and Registration and the Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, the court also asked them to initiate appropriate action against all who are responsible and accountable for such lapses, negligence or dereliction of duty.

“If the misconduct or otherwise is proved, then further actions are to be initiated to recover the loss of State revenue from those officials,” Justice S M Subramaniyam said recently, while allowing a writ petition from G E Govindaraj, who sought to quash a 2012 notice of the Assistant Commissioner in Arisipalayam Assessment Circle in Salem district.

The notice sought to recover the sales tax arrears for 2000-01 and 2001-02.

The judge noted the authority had initiated action to recover the arrears after lapse of 10 years, which was against the TNGST Rules.

The High Court, being the custodian of the Constitution, is duty bound to ensure that the constitutional principles are protected for the welfare of the citizen in general and failure of the authorities in this regard, are to be suitably dealt with, the judge said.

The two authorities shall coordinate with the Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption by conducting frequent surprise raids to control the evil menace of corrupt activities of demand and acceptance of bribes or receipt of freebies from the business community across the State.

If any such offenses are identified, then all actions, including criminal, are to be initiated under the relevant laws.

The judge also directed them to issue suitable orders to all the authorities competent to verify the service records of the officials of the Commercial Tax department and make a comparison with the actual assets of the family members as well as the declared assets in the service records.

And if any disproportionality of wealth is identified, all suitable actions are to be initiated under the Service Rules in force.

They shall ensure that all long pending cases regarding State revenue are reviewed periodically on war footing and reports are collected and initiate speedy steps to protect the interest of State revenue, the court said.

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