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Income tax raids on industrial house
Massive tax evasion detected
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Income Tax officials are learnt to have detected massive evasion during a raid on residential, factory and other business premises of Mr D.P. Mittal, the proprietor of Bombay Metals. The raids were launched early this morning and are likely to continue for another day, as the IT officials are scrutinising the details and documents seized during the raid.

Sources said around 120 officials of the Income Tax Department, led by the Director Investigations, Mr D.S. Sidhu, and assisted by around 50 police personnel, conducted simultaneous raids on various places. These included the residence of Mr Mittal, his factory in Industrial Area and the business premises of some of his brokers and clients.

The income tax officials also reportedly sealed the bank accounts and lockers being operated by the family members and business associates of Mr Mittal. The raids were continuing in the evening and were likely to be carried out tomorrow. The officials, besides seizing some jewellery, also got hold of huge amount of cash and documents relating to business transactions of Bombay Metals. Bombay Metals is counted among the leading manufacturers of bicycle parts here.

The officials were tight-lipped about the operation. They refused to divulge any details. However, sources revealed that the Income Tax Department had been working on the case for the past several months and collecting details about various business dealings and the turnover of the company. The sources added that the department was expected to detect massive tax evasion and the officials had reportedly got some important clues that could lead to further finding.

Besides the residence of Mr Mittal located at Dandi Swami and manufacturing units, the officials also reportedly raided the business premises of one of the brokers of Mr Mittal at Chander Nagar in the Haibbowal area and seized important documents from his possession. According to department sources, the operation was going on smooth and there was no resistance from anywhere.

The raiding teams were reportedly called from places like Jalandhar, Bathinda, Jammu, Srinagar, Shimla, Hisar and Rohtak. They included about 100 income tax officers and around 10 Deputy Directors.

The sources revealed that further raids may be carried out in a few days after the documents seized from the possession of Mr Mittal were studied and scrutinised. The officials were yet to make exact estimate of the cash and jewellery seized during the raids. However, the sources said the evasion was expected be substantial.

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Court orders fresh probe into land grab case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Mr Jasbir Singh, Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Ludhiana, has ordered a fresh inquiry into the controversial Marriott Hotel case. He has directed the SHO, Model Town, to submit the inquiry report to the court within two months from the date of the receipt of the order.

The case involves the alleged grabbing of about 700 sq yrd of prime land in the Model Town Extension area.

The complainant in the case, Mr Dalip Garg, has been maintaining that the land belonged to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust and had been left for community use. According to him, it was later transferred to a non-existent Model Town Extension Club. Later, Hotel Marriott came up at the site.

Mr Garg has also filed a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for the demolition of the hotel and the restoration of land to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust for public use.

The order was passed by the court on August 24 following a protest petition by Mr Garg.

Mr Garg had contended that the investigating officer had not involved him in the investigation and cancelled the FIR No. 6, dated January 3, 2003, registered under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B and 209 of the IPC at the Model Town police station. He was not given a chance to present his case. Moreover, earlier inquiries and judgements in the case were also overlooked.

Mr Garg said the inquiry officer had not inquired into the matter pertaining to the guilty officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. Nor had he gone through about 40 documents referred to by the complainant.

He said the inquiry officer had not taken into consideration the orders passed by various civil courts and the inquiry report dated November 7, 2002, submitted by the Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Punjab. He had also not appreciated the report dated December 19, 2002, submitted by the then SP (City II), Ludhiana.

Following orders by the Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, Mr J.S. Bhatia, on February 11 this year, the Judicial Magistrate heard the arguments of the complainant, Mr Daleep Garg, and the respondent, Mr Vijay Verma.

The magistrate observed: “On critical examination of the contentions raised by the learned counsel for the parties, I have found that the only grudge of the complainant is that the investigating officer has not involved him in the investigation, nor has he taken any action against other guilty officials of the Municipal Corporation. The officer has not taken into consideration the 40 documents referred to by the complainant. He has not taken notice of the inquiry report conducted by the Deputy Director, Local Bodies, and the SP (City II).”

Interestingly, the inquiry report by the Deputy Director, Local Bodies, referred to in the order had concluded: “It is clear that the disputed plot, measuring 700 sq yrd, was of the Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, and it had been reserved as green land/park and none was competent to sell the same. Mr Vijay B. Verma etc through their manipulations got it transferred in the name of a fictitious club and built a hotel building illegally. As has been reported by the Administrator of the Improvement Trust, the possession of Mr Vijay B. Verma over the said plot is unauthorised. I am of the view that legal opinion in this case needs to be sought and if there is presently no order of a competent court of law to the contrary, the Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, should take (initiate) legal proceedings in a court of law to get back the possession of the land.”

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Hooliganism, scuffle mar DBA meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
Allegations, counter-allegations, rowdy scenes and hooliganism marred the general house meeting of the District Bar Association (DBA) here today.

The association president, Mr Balwinder Goel, and former president, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, exchanged hot words. They accused each other of creating disturbance and bitterness among lawyers by misrepresenting facts. Their supporters scuffled thrice in the meeting.

The meeting lasted for more than four hours. Supporters of both factions interrupted the speakers of opposite faction on the plea that they were speaking against facts and going beyond the agenda.

The meeting was called following a requisition by junior lawyers, who had requested that the executive should take up the matter with the government for providing chambers to them free of cost. But majority
of speakers spoke beyond the agenda and used the dais for promoting their own vested interests.

Mr Dhanda favoured those who had called the meeting. He said there was no harm, if certain members had requested the DBA to listen to their grievances. He said we should unite and take up the matter with the government. He questioned why he was blamed every time for any wrong happening in the Bar.

Last year also, a number of requisitions were moved by members and meetings were convened and queries answered. He blamed Mr Goel for maligning him.

Mr Goel refuted the allegations levelled by Mr Dhanda by terming them baseless. He accused the latter of misguiding the members by distorting facts. He justified the requisitions moved by his supporters last years. He said at that time it was a struggle for deleting the votes of outsiders.

However, now the requisitions were being moved just to sabotage the proceedings. He said the government had passed a notification in 2002 and getting free chambers was not possible now and we should understand the reality.

Mr Amrinder Singh Arora said disrupting proceedings by levelling allegations against former president, Mr Dhanda, or the present president, Mr Goel, had become a routine. If it happened in future, the lawyers in majority should boycott the meeting, he urged the general house.

Mr Ashok Upadhya accused the executive of not properly circulating the notices of DBA meetings. He said the agenda of the meetings was never mentioned in the notices pasted on the notice board.

A number of lawyers said the dummy organisations of both groups were trying to create chaos and confusion in the association.

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Medical college told to refund Rs 46,000
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed All Saints Para Medical College, located at Jaspal Bangar village, to refund the sum of Rs 46,000 deposited by a student at the time of admission. The forum has also directed the college authorities to return the original Class XII certificate deposited by the student.

The orders were pronounced by the president of forum, Mr A.S. Narula, and members, Ms Puja Diwan and Mr T.R. Arora, after hearing on a complaint filed by Vikramjit Singh of Model Town Extension. The forum also directed the defendant to pay Rs 1,000 as costs to the complainant.

The complainant had submitted that he had applied for admission to a degree course in physiotherapy following an advertisement given by the college authorities. In the advertisement it was claimed that the institution was well equipped with modern laboratories and teaching staff.

At the time of admission, in September, 2003, it was assured that the construction work of the college would be completed soon and students would be imparted education meeting requisite standards. It was also assured that if the atmosphere was not up to the mark, the student was entitled to a refund, added the complainant.

It was further pleaded that the atmosphere at the college was not congenial. He was ragged by senior students and forced to take off his clothes. Moreover, proper laboratories were not made available and when he approached the college authorities for a refund the request was turned down.

The defendant was proceeded ex parte as it failed to appear before the forum to defend the case. Convinced with the evidence of complainant, the forum held: “All facts and circumstances go to prove that for want of adequate staff, laboratories, etc. it had become impossible for the complainant to continue with the physiotherapy degree course. In such circumstances, the deficiency of the opposite party stands proved.”

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5 farmer unions join hands
Not to allow SYL water to flow to Haryana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Five farmer associations — the BKU (Lakhowal), the BKU (Ekta), the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, the Kisan Front and the Kirti Kisan Union — today decided that they would not allow the sharing of SYL water at any cost.

The decision in this regard was taken unanimously at a meeting held here. However, activists of the BKU (Ugrahan), staged a walkout. The unions decided to hold a convention on the issue in Chandigarh on September 16.

The unions decided that they would not allow water to flow out of the state when farmers were facing crisis in the form of fast depleting water table.

Terming the construction of the canal as “illogical”, the leaders, including Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, Mr Pishora Singh Sidhupur, Mr Kulwant Singh Sandhu and Mr Maghar Singh Kulrian, said the construction of the canal was not viable. They said water was all set to become a rare commodity. The area irrigated with canal water had come down from 37 per cent to 20 per cent. They said the wasted water of the Ganges could be diverted to Haryana, but political parties of Haryana had made it an issue with an eye on elections.

While maintaining a silence on the Termination of Water Accords Act, the leaders criticised the Punjab Government for not challenging Sections 78, 79 and 80 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act in the Supreme Court.

The activists of the BKU (Ugrahan), however, demanded that a committee, comprising water experts and representatives of people, should be constituted to look into the matter. They were of the view that the dispute should be settled amicably. They said various political organisations were hell-bent upon making the SYL an issue and were not paying any attention to other issues relating to the farming community. They also demanded that a fund should be earmarked by both the state government and the Centre which should be spent on conservation of water resources.

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Book Hanspal for insulting Tricolour: BJP
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
Charging the PPCC President, Mr H.S. Hanspal, the Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, Mr Kewal Krishan, the Secretary, All-India Congress Committee, Mr Manish Tiwari, the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, and an MLA, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, along with other prominent Congress leaders with showing disrespect to the National Flag at a function here on August 23, the BJP has asked the police to register cases against them.

Addressing mediapersons here today, the state secretary of the party, Mr Anil Sareen, released a copy of the written complaint made to the SSP in which it was demanded that those guilty of showing disrespect to the National Flag at a function organised jointly by the Freedom Fighters Successors Association and the Terrorists’ Victims Association at Guru Nanak Bhavan should be booked.

Mr Sareen alleged that at the function the flag was displayed by hanging it on the back wall of the stage and leaders were seated on the stage with their backs towards the flag. 

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Snake bite claims life
Our Correspondent

Khanna, August 27
One person was killed and another was injured in two different snake biting incidents in two villages today.

According to information, in Bhari village, Pargat Singh a worker of the Punjab State Electricity Board working at Bhari Power Grid was bitten by a snake on his foot. He was hospitalised but later died.

In another incident, a migrant labour Ram Narayan was also bitten by a snake near a choe where he had gone to answer to call of nature. The victim was taken to Civil Hospital Khanna.

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Bus service hit

Machhiwara, August 27
Bus service between Machhiwara-Samrala route remain suspended for seven hours today. It restored after the intervention of administration. A clash over a sewerage project at Samrala was cited as the reason.

Bus operators, including Punjab Roadways, were alleging that Samrala Nagar Council and the local administration had not made arrangements to avoid of inconvenience to commuters.

The commuters had to suffer a lot due to negligence of the administration and Nagar Council authorities as the drama ended with the assurance to bus operators that project would be completed soon and till then they would be provided with another route to Samrala via Bhathala village. OC

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Two held for smuggling contraband
Our Correspondent

Khanna, August 27
The police arrested two opium smugglers at two makeshift police posts near the main bus stand here today. According to the police, a police post was set up by SHO Dalbagh Singh at the bus stand along with other police officials. They stopped a Haryana Roadways bus and checked an unsuspecting person.

On frisking, the police seized a bag containing 26 kg of poppy husk from him. The accused has been identified as Sanjay son of Ram Mandal.

At another police post set up by ASI Gurdev Singh near the bus stand, a woman, identified as Sukhwinder Kaur, was arrested for possessing 12 kg of poppy husk.

Both the accused were produced in a local court after medical examinations at the Civil Hospital, Khanna.

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Spate of thefts in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
As many as six cases of theft were registered at various police stations of the city yesterday. On the statement of Simmi Sharma, a resident of Dholewal Army Complex, the Division No. 6 police registered a case under Section 381 of the IPC against Sunita, her housemaid, for allegedly breaking open the lock of an almirah in her house and decamping with 220 gm of gold jewellery besides other household goods on August 5.

On the statement of Laxmi Narayan Singh of Punjab Housing Board Colony, Jamalpur, the Focal Point police registered a case against unknown person(s) for stealing his Boxer motor cycle and a Hero Honda motor cycle registered in the name of Sunil Kumar, a resident of the same locality, on Monday night. The accused have been booked under Section 379 of the IPC.

The Salem Tabri police registered a case under Sections 382,148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajnish Vashishat, a resident of New Azad Nagar, against Manga, Rammi and Gurmit of the same area. It is alleged that the accused came to his house and forcibly took away three cameras, two watches and a scooter.

In another case, Avtar Singh of New Janta Nagar yesterday alleged that Mintoo Singh, Arjun Tiwari, Anil Kumar and Pawan Kumar, who were workers in his cycle spares factory, stole huge quantities of spares from his shop. The Shimla Puri police has registered a case under Sections 381 and 34 of the IPC against the accused and no arrest has been made.

Two unknown persons, riding a Vespa scooter, were booked by the Shimla Puri police under Section 379 of the IPC for allegedly stealing Rs 70,000 from the glove compartment of the scooter of Surinder Pal, a resident of Kot Mangal Singh mohalla, on August 14. The scooter was parked in front of Chawla Dhaba located in street No. 6 of Janta Nagar.

The Civil Lines police booked Tarlochan Singh, a resident of Himmat Singh Nagar, Dugri, under Section 379 of the IPC for stealing the cycle of Hari Om, a resident of the CRPF Colony, Dugri, on August 20. The cycle was parked in front of the mini secretariat.

Held for blocking traffic: The Division No. 8 police yesterday arrested Karam Singh, a resident of Kundan Puri, for blocking traffic and registered a case under Section 283 of the IPC. The accused blocked traffic by parking his Tata-407 vehicle in the middle of the road.

Vikas Patras forged: The Model Town police registered a case under Sections 467, 468, 471, 473, 474 and 120-B of the IPC against Nav Rattan Jain, a resident of Bikaner; Vijay Kumar, a resident of Delhi; and Gopal, a resident of Buland Shahr, UP. The complainant, Mohan Lal, a resident of Dr Ambedkar Nagar, stated that the accused sold him a Vikas Patra for Rs 2,500 on August 24. On cross-checking with the local post office, he found the patras to be fake. When the accused came to his house again on Thursday, they were arrested by the police. Several forged Vikas Patras were seized from their possession.

Booked for abetting suicide: The Division No. 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sunil Kumar, a resident of Dr Ambedkar Colony, against Ajay Kumar, a resident of Islam Ganj.

The complainant stated that his father, Kashmiri Lal, took a loan of Rs 20,000 from the accused. But since his father could not pay the interest accrued on the money, the accused threatened his father and mother. As a result, his father committed suicide by hanging on Thursday afternoon.

Landlady beaten up: The Division No. 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Anjali Sahni of Ganesh Nagar against Sunita Dhir, Asha Dhir and Sunil Dhir.

The woman stated that the accused were living in a rented accommodation owned by her. When she went to collect the rent on Wednesday, the accused beat her up and wounded her.

Employer duped: The Kotwali police yesterday registered a case under Section 408 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Manoj Gupta, who lives at Bhadaur House, against Davinder Singh of Kitchlu Nagar.

The complainant stated that the accused, an employee of his, used to collect cash from various parties and supply medicines to them. The accused collected a payment of Rs 64,425 but did not deposit it with him. Also, the accused failed to turn up at the shop after that.

Couple injured: On the statement of Paramjit Singh of Saroop Nagar, the Salem Tabri police yesterday registered a case against Sanjiv Kumar of the same locality for causing injuries to him and his wife in an accident.

The accused, who was driving a Maruti car, hit his motor cycle on Monday while he was going with his wife. Both received injuries and the motor cycle was damaged in the accident. The accused has been booked under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC.

Hooch seized: The Model Town police has arrested Ashok Kumar, a resident of Dana Mandi, and recovered nine bottles of hooch from his possession. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

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Traders to hold march against VAT
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
A national convention of the Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal (BUVM) was held in New Delhi on August 25 and decided to take out an awareness march against VAT from September 15 to December 15.

Mr Amrit Lal Jain, president, Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, and vice-president of the BUVM, said this here today. He said delegates from 18 states expressed anguish against the introduction of VAT, hike in service tax and proposal for reservation in private sector of trade and industry. The convention was presided over by Mr Shyam Bihari Mishra. Among others present at the meeting were Mr Ashim Dasgupta, Chairman, Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, and Mr Kalraj Mishra and Mr Santosh Badodia, both MPs.

According to Mr Jain, speakers were of the firm opinion that VAT would turn out to be burdensome, both for the traders and the consumers since tax would be added with transaction at each point. The government should rather implement the alternate proposal of imposing additional excise duty on textile, tobacco and sugar. In a memorandum submitted to Mr Dasgupta, Mr Jain asked the government that if at all VAT was to be introduced, it should replace all other levies and taxes like sales tax, service tax, octroi, excise duty and entry tax. Moreover, VAT should take effect simultaneously all over the country. Mr Dasgupta agreed with the contention that once VAT took effect, other local taxes and levies would have to be scrapped. He also assured that efforts were being made to bring uniformity in taxation structure in different states. He also indicated that for the time being the Central Sales Tax would continue, which brought in a yearly revenue of around Rs 17,000 crore to the government.

Through different resolutions, the convention demanded abolition of octroi in Punjab and Maharashtra, withdrawal of service tax on goods transporters, scrapping of penal provisions under various sections of the Income Tax Act, withdrawal of proposed reservation in trade and industry and fixation of 5 per cent ceiling on service tax on different trades.

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