TAMIL NADU

CBI court convicts eight, including IT officials

Staff Reporter

Evasion of tax by forging certificates

Coimbatore: Judge of the Court for Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cases S. Rangaraju on Thursday sentenced eight persons, including three Income Tax Department officials, to undergo rigorous imprisonment (RI), and imposed a total fine of Rs.2.44 lakh for evasion of tax to the tune of Rs.19.25 lakh by forging Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) certificates.

According to N. Sundaravadivelu, Special Public Prosecutor for CBI Cases, the Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI registered four cases in 1989 against K. Thangamani and seven others, including the Income Tax officials, for the forgery and evasion from 1983-84 to 1988-89.

Modus operandi

The prosecuting agency contended that the first accused, along with three IT officials and four others, prepared forged TDS certificates purportedly issued by the Public Works Department of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, stating that contracts had been undertaken from the departments and payments received after suffering TDS.

Despite being privy to this information, the accused — those in the IT department — processed the return papers and issued refunds to the first accused ignoring the fact that his various IT returns carried different addresses.

The prosecuting agency identified the remaining seven accused as N. Rajagopalan, Retired Income Tax Officer, who worked at Erode, and S. Kunchidapatham and D. Palkripakaran, both IT Department employees. The other accused were A. Shanmugam, A. Selvaraj, P. Srinivasan and S. Viswanathan, all from Erode.

The charges

The prosecution examined 63 witnesses and marked 1,354 documents. Cases were registered against the accused under sections 120 B (conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 467 (forging a document), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using a forged document as genuine for the purpose of cheating) of the Indian Penal Code besides sections 5 (ii) read with 5 (1) (3) of the Prevention of Corruption Act of 1988.

The court sentenced K. Thangamani to undergo three years rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs.10,000.

In default of the fine he has to undergo another six months RI for some of the charges.

Total fine

For the other charges, the court sentenced him to three months RI for each charge and fine of Rs.200. In default, the accused must undergo one-week RI for each count. The total fine imposed was Rs.67,600.

The second accused N. Rajagopalan was sentenced to undergo three months RI for each charge and a fine of Rs.200 (in default he should undergo one-week RI for each charge).

The other accused were also sentenced to three months RI and a fine of Rs.200 for each charge.

In default of the fine the court sentenced them to undergo RI ranging from one week to one month for each charge.

Fines ranging from Rs.9,000 to Rs.31,000 each were imposed on the third accused to the eighth accused.

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