CBI registers case against 31 personnel in Kerala for bogus I-T refund

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

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 personnel, 18 work in  the Indian Navy while two are employed with the 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 individuals in Kannur made huge bogus refund claims, for 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,” the FIR said.It is seen that some agents are involved in the scam and file income tax returns for the employees of certain organisations and collect 10% of the refund amount as filing fee.

A preliminary probe by the Income Tax department revealed that a total of 51 individuals’  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 lakh after a notice was issued to them. The remaining 31 assesses are yet to repay the refund totalling Rs 44.07 lakh.
Kerala government on March 25, 2022, accorded consent to CBI for investigating the case.

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