Hyderabad, September 27, 2017

A chargesheet filed by Hyderabad Central Crime Station sleuths in the city criminal court has revealed that at least 200 information technology employees, including from Polaris Hyderabad, faked disability and chronic illness of family members in order to fraudulently claim income tax refund.

CCS sleuths, who investigated the complaint filed by income tax department deputy director M Mohan Babu, found that two income tax practitioners processed the dubious I-T refund claims.

CCS police filed a chargesheet in the 12th additional chief metropolitan magistrate court at Nampally against two income tax practitioners N Srikanth Goud, 43, and Mohammed Khaleel, 34, both with offices at Venkateswara Colony in Dilshuknagar. CCS made the IT employees witnesses in the case as they repaid the amount they claimed after the income tax department served notices on them. In an ingenious method of making a quick buck, the two income tax practitioners N Srikanth Goud, 43, and Mohammed Khaleel, 34, set up their offices and got in touch with employees of software companies and offered to help them get I-T refund, said CCS assistant commissioner of police K Ram Kumar.

Explaining the modus operandi of the fraud, investigating officer Ram Kumar said, "Under Section 80 D and 80 DD of the Income Tax Act, refund can be claimed on medical grounds. The two accused approached IT employees and offered to process their claims to get tax refund by stating that their family members are patients of chronic illness. Each one of them got a rebate ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The accused took around 10 per cent commission from the IT employees. The total loss to the I-T department in these cases is Rs 1.36 crore. This is said to be only the tip of the iceberg. There could be several practitioners across the city and many employees resorting to this type of fraud.'' One of the accused, Srikanth Goud, is a law degree holder while Mohammed Khaleel is a commerce graduate. Police said the accused have been resorting to this type of cheating for the past five to six years.

"The chargesheet was filed four days ago. Out of the 200 employees, 50 are from Polaris,'' said Ram Kumar. The complaint was first filed on July 19, 2017. Charges were filed under section 420 IPC (cheating) and 406 IPC (criminal breach of trust) against the two practitioners. Repeated phone calls made to Polaris office in Hyderabad yielded no response.

[The Times of India]