Millennium Post

Tax evasion: Private stock broker firm’s director gets 2-yr jail

The director of a private stock broker firm has been sentenced to a two-year jail term in a tax evasion case and slapped a fine of Rs five lakh each on him and the company by a Delhi court, which said such cases are on the rise. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Devendra Kumar Sharma refused to take a lenient view considering the nature of <g data-gr-id="38">offence</g> and awarded the jail term to 67-year-old Ashok Gupta, director of Delhi-based JRD Stock Brokers Pvt Ltd.

The court also held the firm guilty for evading tax saying the Income Tax (IT) Department has been successful in proving its case that Gupta was the director and responsible for day-to-day affairs of the company. “Considering the facts and circumstance of the case, nature of offence and the fact that the tax amount has not been deposited as on date and that these kind of cases are on rising note which is apparent from the rate of filing of the complaint in income tax matters, this case is not a fit case to take lenient view,” the court said. 

It said Gupta had filed IT return by concealing true income and attempted to evade tax by showing share loss/share gain to the parties by issuing bogus bills. The court added there was no actual purchase or sale of shares for the party and Gupta had filed the return knowing that it was false. 

According to the IT department, a search was conducted at business premises of the firm and residence of the director on November 24, 2000 and certain documents were seized. The accused was called to file the return of income and ‘nil’ undisclosed income was declared for the period of April 1990 to November 2002.

As per the department, the undisclosed income was Rs 22,63,091 and a penalty of over 15 lakh was imposed against the accused in 2005. During the proceedings, Gupta denied allegations saying he was not doing the business of providing <g data-gr-id="28">entry</g> for share loss and share gain or has ever issued any bogus bills. 

The court, however, held the firm and its director guilty of <g data-gr-id="40">wilful</g> attempt to evade tax, giving <g data-gr-id="46">false</g> statement in verification and presumption as to culpable mental state under the IT Act. The court also observed “our minds are familiar with conventional offences like murder, rape and theft where a tangible person or property of an individual is attacked”. “But it takes time to realise the seriousness of non-conventional crimes where tangible property, in the sense of economic recourses of the <g data-gr-id="43">community</g> are involved, or where the harm cause is indirect and remote, and there is no immediate tangible object of the harm visible to the mind.” 
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