A businessman in Uttarakhand's Haridwar district has been sentenced to five years in jail for an input tax credit fraud of ₹17 crore. The state's Goods and Services Tax department said this was the first conviction for GST evasion in Uttarakhand.
Businessman Surendra Singh has been convicted by the chief judicial magistrate Mukesh Chandra Arya under the Uttarakhand Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 for producing fake bills to claim input tax credit to the tune of ₹17.01 crore. Singh was arrested by the central intelligence unit, Dehradun, in April this year.
Ahmed Iqbal, Commissioner Taxes, Uttarakhand, said Singh registered six firms in his name and that of his family members on the GST portal for manpower supply.
"However, it came to light that these firms were involved in the sale and purchase of iron, plywood, and other items. For the same, these firms had a common mobile number and e-mail. He showed fake transactions for the supply of goods to fictitious firms which don't even exist. He availed ITC for firms that are registered in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana," Iqbal said.
For instance, one firm, PSD Packaging, is registered in both Uttarakhand and Odisha with the same PAN number. "During our inquiry, it also came to light that 22 firms are registered in the name of one person and with the same mobile number," he said, adding that the firms were mostly non-functional.
The official said the conviction was a morale booster for the department and will discourage other businessmen from indulging in fraud to evade taxes.