FAISALABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials have approached local police to seek data of the persons who habitually file applications or get registered cases against others claiming they have to recover their money from the respondents, to verify whether such claims match the declared wealth of the complainants.

The FBR, through a letter titled “Request for sharing of information relating to cases/applications seeking action under sections 406 and 489-F of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), sent to local police officials, said a few incidents had been reported wherein litigants filed applications with the police department, alleging criminal dishonesty had been committed by respondents who either did not return cash payments or the cheques they were given were dishonoured by the banks concerned.

The FBR says such complainants usually seek action against respondents under sections 406 and 489-F of the PPC.

It says that such applications filed with police show that the complainants possess huge amounts but it transpires on scrutiny of their tax data that a majority of such complainants were either not on the tax roll or have failed to declare their wealth in a fair and transparent manner.

“…this office intends to use subject mentioned information pertaining to such applications for broadening of the tax base purpose and to conduct enquiries for concealment of income. It is, thus, requested that a formal mechanism may please be developed to share the subject information related to all police stations under your jurisdiction on a regular bases with this (FBR) office in the larger national interest of enhancing revenue collection,” the letter reads.

Talking to Dawn, FBR Additional Commissioner (headquarters) Asif Rafiq said coordination between the police and the FBR was imperative to trace such tax evaders. He said such coordination between two state organs would not only help expand the tax net but also discourage the frivolous litigation.

He said a majority of such people had been implicating their rivals in false cases by submitting fake applications and withdrawing the same after extorting money from respondents who wanted to avoid any police action against them.

He said legislation was also mandatory to stem the trend of filing fake applications for illegal monetary gain.

He said mostly such applicants claim the respondent was not returning their hefty amount. However, in the FBR record, he said, such applicants were neither registered nor paying any tax.

“We have approached the police seeking such data on a regular basis,” Mr Asif said, adding that regular provision of the data would help the FBR detect the people hiding money from the government to evade taxes.

He said such persons mostly had Benami wealth resulting in tax evasion so the FBR was a relevant organisation to probe into such cases.

A police officer said such habitual complainants later strike deals with the respondents after receiving hefty amounts. He added that in June last a gang had been busted in Multan that used to implicate innocent people in false cases.

He said on the orders of Punjab police inspector general Multan regional police officer had busted the gang involved in registration of 37 false cases of kidnap, rape and other heinous crimes against innocent people.

He suggested that police should have a database of such criminals so that in such cases innocent victims could get help and the trend of false and frivolous litigation could be bridled.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2020

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