Chandigarh, June 8
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has unearthed a scam by arresting two officials of transport department Harpal Singh and Salinder Singh who used to usurp the taxes collected from the commercial vehicles entering the state at Tax Collection Center, Jharmari, Lalru, in SAS Nagar district with the help of fake computer software as well as bogus stamps / seals.
A Vigilance Bureau spokesperson said in this regard a case under Sections 420, 465, 467, 471,120 B of IPC and 7, 7A, 13 (1) (A), 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, against three accused persons namely Harpal Singh of Hasanpur village, Fatehabad in Haryana; Salinder Singh of Bishanpura village, Zirakpur; and Praveen Kumar of Khanpur village, Kharar, have been registered 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, 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. Harpal Singh, Salinder Singh and Praveen Kumar were posted at the above mentioned RTA Check Post on rotational basis. They collected 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.
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 loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer. “Not only this, they also have fabricated stamps / seals to be affixed on the receipts to convince the vehicle drivers / owners of the genuineness of the same,” he added.
He added that the involvement of other concerned officers / employees would be ascertained besides such software being used to deposit online taxes during the course of investigation.