CBI registers case against 31 persons including Indian Navy, Kerala cops for bogus IT refund claims

The CBI Special Crime Branch (SCB) unit in Thiruvananthapuram filed the case based on the recommendation of the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Kerala.

Published: 19th January 2023 03:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th January 2023 03:00 PM   |  A+A-

Central Bureau of Investigation; CBI

Image used for representational purpose only.

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against 31 employees belonging to the Indian Navy, Kerala Police, and private companies for making bogus income tax refund claims in the year 2016-17 while working in the Kannur district. 

The CBI Special Crime Branch (SCB) unit in Thiruvananthapuram filed the case based on the recommendation of the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Kerala.

The FIR of the case was submitted at Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate court on Tuesday. Of the 31 accused persons, 18 belong to the Indian Navy while two are Kerala Police. The remaining 11 persons are employees of private companies - Hewlett Packard Enterprises Global Soft Private Limited, Bajaj Allianz Insurance Company, SBI Life Insurance, and Indusind Bank, according to the FIR.

Spokespersons of the Indian Navy, Kerala Police, and private companies could not be contacted for comments.

"The complaint was received from the Income Tax Commissioner, Kozhikode on February 4, 2020, that many salaried assesses in Kannur made huge bogus refund claims, since the assessment year 2016-2017. Verification by the assessing officers revealed that assesses were claiming bogus refunds by making various deductions, which were not included in Form-16, relating to rent paid, donations to political parties etc. In some of the instances, the assesses admitted that their claims were wrong and repaid the refund amount with interest. Some agents file returns of income for the employees of certain organisations by collecting 10% of the refund amount as a filing fee," the FIR said.

A preliminary probe by the Income Tax department revealed that a total of 51 individuals' assesses of salaried employees had falsely claimed refund of income tax paid by them in collusion with certain agents. Of the 51 assesses, 20 individuals repaid the refunded amount to the tune of Rs 24.62 lakhs after a notice was issued to them. The remaining 31 assesses are yet to repay the falsely claimed income tax refund totalling Rs 44.07 lakhs.  

Kerala government on March 25, 2022, accorded consent to CBI for investigating the case. Similarly, the Government of India on January 4, 2023, brought out a notification giving nod to CBI to investigate the case that caused wrongful loss to the Income Tax department. CBI has charged offences for criminal conspiracy, cheating and willful attempt to evade tax, penalty or interest. CBI Inspector Girish Kumar was tasked to conduct the probe.


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