CHENNAI: The Madras High court has dismissed a petition moved by a private travels firm to quash a Regional Transport Officer’s (RTO) order directing the firm to pay `1.08 lakhs.
Justice S Vaidyanathan, who upheld the RTO’s order, held that the petitioner’s contention that it had paid the tax to the transport officials in cash, who in turn had embezzled the sum seemed reasonable, but it could not be accepted until and unless it had been proved by evidence before the court.
According to the petitioner, KPN Travels India Private Limited, the tax due for the period from November 25, 2014 to February 22, 2015, was paid in cash to the transport officials. But later the firm found out that the sum was not remitted to the Government and that the officials had embezzled the sum. A police complaint was lodged against two Motor Vehicle Inspectors and a private broker and a case was also registered. But as the tax was not paid, the petitioner’s vehicles were detained by transport authorities, forcing the firm to approach the High court for relief, the petitioner added.
Defending the RTO’s action, Additional Advocate General P H Arvindh Pandian said, “The petitioner’s vehicle, which was an All India contract carriage, was found plying in Tamil Nadu from Chennai to Pollachi on December 2, 2014 without proper tax receipts and hence the vehicle was detained and penalty levied.”
After hearing both the parties, Justice S Vaidyanathan observed that during inspection by the Motor Vehicle Inspector, it was found that the petitioner’s vehicle was used within TN by violating permit conditions without proper tax receipts. Further, the story about payment of tax from November 25, 2014 to February 24, 2015 was suspicious.
The judge further held that it had to be construed that the firm’s vehicle was plying without payment of tax from November 25, 2014 and that he did not find any irregularity or illegality in the imposition of tax and penalty by the RTO in the impugned order.