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March 27, 2021

CBI arrests GST superintendent and 2 CAs arrested in Rs 12 lakh bribe case

by CA Jessica Nagaonkar in GST

CBI arrests GST superintendent and 2 CAs arrested in Rs 12 lakh bribe case

The COVID 19 pandemic had forced India into a lockdown. Most of the countries small businesses which relied on physical availability of customers have had the most hit. Small business revenues have plunged everywhere. Nevertheless, corrupt officials have proved to be an exception to this rule, who no matter what the situation persists, find a way to extort money.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Superintendent and three others, including two Chartered Accountants (CA), for allegedly extorting money from a Mumbai trader.

Who are the persons who are arrested?

The accused persons have been identified as the CGST Superintendent (Mumbai South) Amit Dalal, CA Gopal Bhatter, his employee Hemant Motivaras, and another CA named Ramesh Parmar.

What is the case against the persons arrested?

  • A case was registered against a Superintendent, CGST, Mumbai South, Air India Building, Nariman Point, Mumbai (Maharashtra) on the allegations that the accused demanded Rs. 15 lakh as undue advantage from the complainant for not enhancing his GST evasion/tax lability and for not arresting him in the same matter.
  • It was further alleged that the said Superintendent CGST had instructed a Chartered Accountant to collect the bribe from the complainant on his behalf. 

How did CBI arrest the accused?

  • Acting on the complaint, the CBI laid a trap and arrested the CA’s employee when he was receiving Rs 7 lakh.
  • The second CA was also caught while delivering an amount of Rs 5 lakh to Mr. Motivaras on the instructions of his employer, who had allegedly been told by the Superintendent to collect the money.
  • The Superintendent fled Mumbai to evade the probe, but was tracked down by the agency to Delhi and arrested.
  • The CBI conducted searches at six locations, including the residential and office premises of the accused persons in Mumbai and Delhi, leading to the seizure of Rs 30 lakh in cash and various incriminating documents/articles.
  • The accused were produced before a court, which remanded them to CBI custody till March 28.

What does ICAI do when a CA is found guilty of professional misconduct?

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament, viz. The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountancy in the country. The Institute, functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.

If the Director is of the opinion that the accountant is guilty of an act that falls under the First Schedule – then the complaint is forwarded to Board of Discipline. The Board of Discipline will follow a summary disposal procedure. If the member is found guilty of misconduct, the member will be given an opportunity to be heard and the following steps can be taken:

What does ICAI do when a CA is found guilty of professional misconduct?

If the Director is of the opinion that the accountant is guilty of an act that falls under the Second Schedule or both Schedules – the complaint is forwarded to the Disciplinary Committee. If the member is found guilty of misconduct, the member will be given an opportunity to be heard and the following steps can be taken:

Enforcement agencies have used data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to process data exchanged among GST authorities, customs department and income-tax offices and pin-pointedly identify unscrupulous elements. It is through such systemic changes, that the department has now been able to take targeted actions against fraudsters and tax evaders.

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