Vigilance Bureau(VB) on Friday arrested a Hoshiarpur based assistant commissioner Sales Tax (GST) Mobile Wing and a Tanda based chartered accountant when they were accepting bribe of Rs two lakh from a marriage palace owner. According to VB the CA was working as a conduit for the assistant commissioner. VB SSP Diljinder Singh Dhillon said that Tanda based Tara Singh, who owns White House Resort in the town, had complained that on February 28 this year GST department raided his establishment and after inspecting the records also seized some account books. The team was headed by assistant commissioner Harmeet Singh who called Tara Singh and his CA Raman Sondhi to his office in Hoshiarpur on April 1. “When Tara Singh and his CA met the official in latter’s office that they had not filed GST return for 11 months and they could face penalty of Rs one crore.
Baffled marriage palace owner pleaded that so much penalty was not possible and he would simply not be able to pay such heavy amount as business was also not brisk. After some pleadings he scaled down to Rs 50 lakh and after more haggling the official settled for Rs 20 lakh stating that Rs 8 lakh had to be deposited as GST in the bank account of the department, Rs 5 lakh would be penalty which would be decided later and Rs 7 lakh would be bribe,” SSP said. The complainant told the VB that he had already deposited Rs 8 lakh in the account of the department and then he was forced to pay Rs 2.5 lakh through the CA and on April 14 he was again forced to pay Rs 50,000 more through.
“On April 10 he again sought Rs 2 lakh and told that he should arrange it within a couple of days. He asked them to keep the money at marriage palace and he would pick it from there. Tara Singh arranged the money and informed the Assistant Commissioner and when he and CA were receiving the graft money of Rs 2 lakh they were caught red handed by the VB sleuths led by DSP Dalbri Singh. They have booked under provisions of Rs Prevention of Corruption Act. SSP Dhillon said that CA Sondhi was part of Assistant Commissioner’s conspiracy and was working as his conduit.