Illegal refunds; IRO sacrificed to protect entire IRS chain involved in corruption

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has accorded major penalty to an Inland Revenue Service (IRS) officer of Grade 16 for inefficiency, misconduct and corruption, the practice termed as sacrificing an officer to protect the entire IRS chain involved in the scam.
Haroon Ahmed and IRS officer signed issuance of 305 refunds involving an amount of Rs23.623 million, which were found to be bogus, dubious and illegal as per the fact finding inquiry.
Haroon Ahmed willfully committed an organized fraud in connivance with departmental officials.
Sources said that Haroon Ahmed and issuance of bogus refunds was just one instance that came in the light. In fact, the department was plagued with severe corruption under the patronage of senior officers and political influence.
The Authority imposed the major penalty of ‘dismissal from service’ upon Haroon Ahmed, RTO, Lahore besides recovery of the embezzled amount of Rs16.071 million from him. The suspension period shall be treated as leave without pay.
Haroon Ahmed shall have the right to appeal to the Appellate Authority under Civil Servants (Appeals) Rules, 1977.
Sources said that it would have to be observed that the accused meets his fate as there was probability that the case would be buried after lapse of some time and the accused would go free.
According to details, the accused accepted bogus tax deduction certificates without any verification, issued refunds to bogus tax payers who neither existed on ground nor the alleged business premises were ever used by them and issued refunds on the basis of forged documents to the tune of Rs23.623 million.
He deliberately did not maintain any record of the refund applications received in the unit to avoid its reporting/inspection by the higher authorities.
He also committed gross irregularity by processing/issuing refunds of Rs8.892 million in 121 cases which fell beyond the legal territorial jurisdiction of his unit.
Before FIA and the Departmental Fact Finding Committee, the accused officer has disclosed names of a number of persons both from the department and from the general public who were instrumental in getting refunds issued in dubious and illegal manner.
This proves that all this activity was an organized fraud.

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