Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

SIT exposes evasion of ₹35 cr excise duty

- HT Correspond­ent letters@htlive.com

LUCKNOW : While investigat­ing anomalies in the supply chain of country made liquor, the Uttar Pradesh police’s Special Investigat­ion Team (SIT) exposed evasion of excise duty worth ₹35 crore by a Saharanpur -based country-made liquor factory in just 11 months between April 2020 and February 2021, said senior SIT officials here on Tuesday.

The officials said the factory owner and officials evaded excise duty by allowing two trucks laden with country-made liquor on one gate pass and receipt. They said the SIT had charge-sheeted nine people, including the authoritie­s of the factory, in connection with the two FIRs lodged in March earlier this year. They said the investigat­ion about the involvemen­t of at least seven more people, including the factory’s managing director Pranay Aneja, vice president Virendra Shankdhar, HR head Som Shekhar and sales head Ashwani Upadhyaya was still on.

The officials suspected that it could be just the tip of the iceberg. The SIT detected such a large amount of excise duty evasion in just 11 months from one factory, as the records older than this period were not made available and it could not be ruled out that this practice had going on before this period too. It could also not be ruled out that similar practice of tax evasion was prevalent in other country-made liquor manufactur­ing units in the state, an official said.

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