New Delhi: Tax evasion is rising by the day and should be curbed with a firm hand, a Delhi court has said, sentencing a businessman to a year in jail for not filing income tax return for two years.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Devendra Kumar Sharma handed one year rigorous imprisonment to Harish Bhasin, the director of a private company who had failed to file returns for assessment years 2006-07 and 2007-08.
The IT department had submitted that Bhasin was assessed at a taxable income of Rs 11.98 crore for 2006-07 and the tax liability on this amount was somewhere around Rs 4 crore.
For 2007-08, it said, Bhasin`s taxable income was assessed at Rs 34.89,15,858 and the tax liability Rs 10 crore.
Separate cases were filed for both the years. The court sentenced him to six months jail in one case and one year in the second case for repeating the offence.
"Evasion of tax by persons is rising day by day which caused huge loss to the government exchequer and such practice should be curbed with firm hand.
"In this case, the convict was under obligation to file return of income within the prescribed period but he failed to do so," the ACMM said.
His sentences were, however, suspended till September 9 on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000.
The prosecution had said Bhasin had failed to file his returns and despite repeated notices, he did not respond.
Bhasin in his statement to the court, however, claimed that he has certain refunds due from the IT department.
The court, however, noted, "From bare perusal of statement of accused, it appears that he endeavoured to say that he did not file the return of income as certain refunds are due from the IT department.
"In my considered opinion to avail benefits under the law, one has to be vigilant and not to sleep over one`s rights. If the accused has any due/ refund from IT department, he ought to have taken appropriate remedy available as per law. In view of the same, non-filing of return deems to be admitted by him," the court said.