Chandigarh June 8 :
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has unearthed a scam by arresting two officials of transport department who used to usurp the taxes collected from the commercial vehicles entering in the state at Tax Collection Centre, Jharmari, Lalru in SAS Nagar district with the help of fake computer software as well as bogus stamps/seals.
Disclosing this here on Wednesday a spokesperson of the Vigilance Bureau said that in this regard a case under FIR No. 08, dated 08.06.2022 under Sections 420, 465, 467, 471,120 B of IPC and 7, 7A, 13(1) (A), 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, against three persons have been registered at Police Station Vigilance Bureau, FS-1, Mohali and fake computer software being used by them as well as bogus stamps/seals have also been recovered.
He revealed that involvement of other concerned officers/employees would be ascertained during the course of investigation as these officials have been collecting lakhs of rupees daily which was not possible without the connivance of other concerned officers.
Giving more details of this scam he informed that around 2000 commercial vehicles as well as new chassis of commercial vehicles enter Punjab from outside the State daily. These vehicles have to pay tax for entering or passing through Punjab, which could be paid online by the driver/owner of the vehicle concerned or deposited with the staff posted at the said check post.
The spokesperson added that the officials have to collect due amount of tax after filling the requisite details, including registration number and type of the vehicle, in the e-Parivhan software of the Transport Department.
He further added that it was mandatory to deposit this collected amount with the State Exchequer. However, these officials with the intent to usurp the money had developed a fake software similar to the original one and used it to collect taxes due from the commercial vehicles and generate bogus receipts for the owners/drivers of the vehicles.
The spokesperson informed that the income thus generated was being pocketed by these accused since long causing a loss of lakhs of rupees to the State Exchequer. “Not only this, they have also fabricated stamps/seals to be affixed on the receipts to convince the vehicle drivers/owners of the genuineness of the same,” he added.
He informed that during the investigation authenticity of two such fake receipts has been checked on the government’s e-Parivahan software, which has been found to be bogus. In this way, these officials have been collecting lakhs of rupees daily which was not possible without the connivance of other concerned officers. He added that the involvement of other concerned officers/employees would be ascertained besides such softwares being used to deposit online taxes during the course of investigation.