Millennium Post

Top auditor reveals prosecution in cases pending for years

In a bizarre revelation, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found that in one instance the prosecution of Central Excise and Service Tax department’s case is pending since 1978 where the money involved in only Rs 750.

As a whole the national auditor has raised concern over a total of 593 prosecution cases pending as on March 31, 2013 in 46 commissionerates across the country worth a total of Rs 2,011.56 crore.

Expressing dismay over slow prosecution, the CAG report on ‘Prosecution and Penalties - Central Excise and Service Tax’ reads, “Under Raigad (Maharashtra) Commissionerates two prosecution cases against M/s Shakti Tobacoo Stores and M/s RM Patel Tobbaco Company involving petty amounts of Rs 9,000 and Rs 750 are pending since March 17, 1973 and September 23, 1978 respectively.”

“Audit observed that the long pendency notwithstanding the fact that statistical details of prosecution cases are collected on monthly basis by board or directorate of legal affairs from its field formations through monthly technical report,” it reads.

With the slow prosecution process, costing the national exchequer heavily, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pitch for ‘good governance’ is going to became an ‘albatross around his neck’— at least when it comes to the Revenue Department.

CAG it its latest report found that 11 cases, out of five commissionerates of the Central Excise and Service Tax, involved a meager amount of Rs 1.82 lakh under prosecution in various courts for more than 30 years. “There are a total of 468 cases of the Central Excise and Service Tax Commissionerates amounting to Rs 1,14,649.36 lakh are pending at various courts for prosecutions. In 43 prosecution cases out of 468, CAG report reads, ‘Audit could not identify the pendency period having a revenue implication of Rs 31.50 crore as the department was not able to provide details of date of filing of complaint,” report says.

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