Delhi: Man Learns He Is ‘Director’ Of 13 Firms, Realises PAN Details Stolen
While the Indian government has been trying to set mechanisms in place to check tax frauds, bogus companies trying to escape the ambit of law tend to find ways to cheat the system. In a recent case of data theft, it was revealed that a 27-year-old Delhi resident’s PAN card details were not only stolen but transactions worth Rs 20 crore were carried out in his name over the last seven months. Moreover, Anuj Kumar Srivastav, who is a sales representative at a pharma company has found that he was also listed as the “director” of 13 different companies.
PAN card data stolen
Reportedly, Srivastav who earns Rs 25,000 a month and lives in a rented accommodation in Delhi, came to know of this fraud after the Income Tax department issued a notice to him earlier this year in January. According to The Indian Express, he lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police and the Enforcement Directorate in February 2018, stating that his Permanent Account Number (PAN) number had been used by “bogus companies to engage in large-scale dealings with companies abroad.”
However, Srivastav had ignored the first three notices that were sent to him, thinking that it had been done so, mistakenly. “I just ignored the first three notices of the I-T department in January. I thought they have mistakenly sent these notices where they had written that my PAN card was used to carry out a transaction on April 23, 2015, wherein Rs 61.37 lakh was allegedly remitted from one Maxkart Impex company to Dynamic Telecon Trading Ltd situated at Bright Way Tower in Mong Kok Road,” he told the daily.
Director of 13 companies
After an IT department official informed Srivastav over a call that the transaction was carried out from the Janakpuri branch of a national bank, he decided to look into it along with a CA friend of his. His visit to the bank revealed that while the documents matched, his signature didn’t. It was then that he decided to approach a lawyer and lodge a complaint. However, no action was taken by the respective departments, until only recently.
Later, he also discovered that he supposedly ran a “business empire” with 13 companies listed under his name. Transactions to the tune of Rs 20 crore was also carried out by these so-called “bogus” firms in his name over the last seven months.
After months of waiting, on July 31, a Delhi court ordered the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police to act on the complaint and produce a report by September 1. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sumedh Kumar Sethi said, “Cases involving cheating and breach of trust for an amount more than Rs 2 crore are to be dealt with by the EOW… Copy of the order be sent to SHO, EOW.”
Srivastav originally hails from Buxar in Bihar and he also told the daily that he couldn’t even get a personal loan worth Rs 5 lakh since all the banks rejected his loan application after looking at his original IT return form. However, after the Delhi court’s directive, he hopes that the IT department will rectify its mistakes.
The Logical Indian take
Important documents like PAN and Aadhaar are increasingly getting intertwined with every aspect of our lives, so much so that even a simple task of opening a new bank account or buying a new SIM card requires these documents. Srivastav’s case draws the much-needed attention to the fact that data theft in the Indian context is a matter of grave concern. At the same time, authorities should also be quick in acting upon such complaints to nab those who are at fault for trying to cheat the system with unlawful means.