Jorhat, April 11: The Jorhat district transport office (DTO) has detected a case of motor vehicle tax evasion and changing of registration number of a commercial vehicle allegedly through fraudulent means from neighbouring Nagaland.
“This particular incident is probably the tip of an iceberg. We suspect that there are hundreds of such vehicles which are registered in Nagaland by fraudulent means,” district transport officer (Jorhat), Ujjal Prakash Sharma, told reporters today. Sharma said the fraud came to light when one Siddartha Sankar Dutta was trying to sell his second-hand bus (AS-03-AC2994) to a person, who wanted to purchase it through private finance.
Dutta had purchased the second-hand vehicle in April 2009, then having a Nagaland registration number (NL-02-B1827), from one Ratul Chandra Baruah here and later transferred it to his name, after obtaining the necessary no-objection certificate from Mokokchung DTO office in Nagaland.
According to records at the Jorhat DTO, the Mokokchung office had issued the NOC to Baruah prior to transferring the bus to Dutta’s name. Sharma said after receiving a written complaint from Dutta in January this year to inquire into the records of the vehicle, the details of the bus were sought from the Mokokchung DTO, which revealed that the vehicle prior to being registered there in February 2009 had an Assam registration number (AS-03-C8446).
“On getting this information, we checked our records and found the bus was originally bought by Ratul Baruah in January 2004 with a bank loan. A few months later, he got the registration of the bus transferred at Halflong DTO in Dima Hasao district of Assam, after getting clearance from the Jorhat DTO,” the transport officer said.
He said on asking the Halflong DTO, it came to light that the vehicle was indeed transferred at its office in 2004 but no tax had been paid till date and neither any NOC issued. Sharma said this clearly pointed out that Baruah had evaded paying the motor vehicle tax and transferred the vehicle to Nagaland and obtained a new number by allegedly submitting fake documents.
Sharma added that Baruah had also hidden the fact that he had not repaid the loan taken from Tata Motors Limited in Guwahati to purchase the bus and the company has confirmed the same.
The DTO said he has filed a complaint to the Jorhat SP, requesting a thorough investigation into the case. The vehicle has been seized and kept at the DTO office here. Dutta too, has filed an FIR with Jorhat police station against Baruah.
The transport official also said he had written to the transport commissioner saying Baruah was a regular tax defaulter and he owes over Rs 3 lakh in taxes against one mini truck and a bus.