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HC orders probe into lawyer-CTO staff nexus
Shocked by the change in submission just as he was dictating an order related to the collection of sales tax for intraocular lenses (IOCL), a judge of the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered the suspension of a Sales Tax Officer and also directed the Commercial Taxes Secretary to institute a probe on large scale collusion between tax officials and advocates.
Observing that even the other counsels failed to put forth the facts clearly, Justice SM Subramaniam suo motu impleaded the Commercial Taxes Secretary, seeking a report on the collusion and loss of revenue to deal with the matter effectively.
During the hearing on general exemption granted to the sale of IOCL under Tamil Nadu Goods and Services Tax Act, the court had asked whether it was applicable to hospitals and doctors in the State. The government counsel and Sales Tax Officer D Mukundhan said it was granted for sale within the State but not to sale in other states.
But the written arguments filed on behalf of the department revealed that the exemption was granted only if the lenses were sold directly to the affected persons.
Aghast at the total change of submission in the last minute when the order was being dictated, Justice Subramaniam said, “This court is absolutely shocked and pained that all the parties to the litigation totally misguided this court without informing the vital facts about Sales Tax being collected from hospitals and doctors within TN.”