News Update

Ghosts haunt LTU, Bangalore

09 10 2006

Visit the Bangalore LTU the first in the country opened after much delay and hopefully meticulous planning. They have not posted a full time Chief Commissioner there, perhaps hoping that the idea will die down and so they need not waste a Chief Commissioner. Remember what happened to the help centres started with much fanfare and media blitz. Does any one know where the help centres are? All said done, the most efficient politician should realize that the powerful bureaucracy can demolish his most well laid out plans.

Coming back to our Bangalore LTU, just go there and ask for client executive Bhaskaran. (An Assistant Commissioner posted in the LTU is designated as Client Executive). The receptionist may tell you to go to hell (or heaven). Dont be insulted, officers in the LTU will not ill treat you. The fact is you have to indeed go there if you want to meet Bhaskaran.

On October 3rd by OFFICE ORDER NO 205/2006, the Board posted two Assistant Commissioners, M. Bhaskaran and H. Manjanna Bhandary to the LTU. A very innocent order; nothing wrong. They were posted to LTU from Bangalore II and III Commissionerates respectively.

But there was a small hitch. One of them unfortunately died a couple of years ago and the other one retired last year.

Yes! The Board had posted a dead officer and a retired officer to the LTU.  And not dead or retired yesterday but months if not years ago!

All the senior officers whom DDT contacted had a hearty laugh, but refused to comment. One Chief Commissioner asked us, How did you know? and himself answered, Just like I would not reveal the name of an informer, you will not reveal your source True Sir!

The Boards order requires the Chief Commissioner to send compliance report regarding relieving and joining of these officers. A really a tough time indeed for the Chief Commissioner!

Its only a clerical mistake, a very senior officer informed us.

Is CESTAT subordinate to CBEC?

A Bangalore based advocate asked me this question the other day. I was surprised. She asked me to go to > Related Sites > Under CBEC. If you click on Under CBEC you will get a page as this:-

Web sites maintained by subordinate offices of CBEC

Indian Customs and Excise Gateway

Central Excise and Service Tax

The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal Website

Directorate of Valuation

Directorate General of Audit - Customs and Central Excise

Directorate General of Safeguards

Directorate of Logistics site/index.html

So according to the official web site of the CBEC, CESTAT is a subordinate office of the CBEC. You will find the Authority For Advance Ruling shown under related but CESTAT is under CBEC.

Yet another clerical mistake?

The seizure, the investigation and the evidence (or rather the lack of it)

The legal procedure requires that a raiding party has to take two independent witnesses who will have to sign the seizure report and who may later be cross examined in a court of law. But investigators, especially the ace ones usually have contempt for the law and the courts. Even if they have respect, most often they cannot follow the procedure. So in practice, what happens is you go book a case and after writing the mahazar catch hold of the tea shop boy, the pan wallah, the auto driver or some such fellow available in the vicinity and make him sign the mahazar to the effect that he has been called before the seizure, that he has witnessed the seizure and everything went on perfectly fine. Later when he is asked to identify the accused in the court, he simply cannot for the simple reason he had never seen the accused. Why is that our ace preventive officers shy away from taking witnesses with them? Maybe easier said than done. Where do you get witnesses? And who will waste three or four hours of his time to witness your search and perhaps later appear in court? But look at the way the CBI does it! They call the witnesses to their offices, tell them about the search operation, record a mahazar and then take them to the scene of operation where a fresh mahazar is recorded. Witnesses can hardly go back in such situations.

In the euphoria of getting a case, the small details are neglected and these prove costly as it happened in the Supreme Court case we are reporting today in 'Breaking News'. The witnesses  - auto driver and panwallah told the court that they were made to sign blank papers and they had not seen the search.

The case was lost because of these minor details. Incidentally the Prosecution argued that "alright we failed to prove his guilt, but he also failed to prove his innocence". "He was not required to", asserted the Supreme Court. The prosecution was required to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt. If the prosecution has failed to prove its case, it cannot fill up the lacuna by contending that Appellant has not proved its defence.

The Supreme Court further explained that suspicion, however great it may be, cannot take the place of legal proof. A moral conviction however strong or genuine cannot amount to a legal conviction supportable in law.

So to get conviction in a court of law, you need something more than your righteousness - you need unassailable evidence.

The IIM idly captures

Our story on Sharath Babu, evoked tremendous response - not all adulating. We bring you a few of the responses. We request Netizens to post their comments on the message board instead of e mailing them to us.   

I am extremely delighted to read the story of Mr Sarathbabu. It was very encouraging. He set as an example for so many young ones. No doubt that he will achieve whatever he wants to do in his life.

I wish him all the best for all his future endeavours.



Dear Sri. Sarathbabu,

In these days where qualified people are out to Rs.50 K and other denominations, U've taken upon yourself to employ 50 K people. Very few takers to the target set by U. Wish U good luck.

with regards,



Great. A project with a bank loan of 8 lakhs is inaugurated with the promoter's family flying in from Chennai to Ahmedabad. Forty-five employees including Chartered Accountants and MBAs. A shrewd, sustaining, and successful hotel management can never approve such lavishness. The new born dream is just five months old. It is Time for the youngman to tighten the belts and learn from the experience from the others than limiting his approach to the tricks he learnt in IIM. I look forward for the annual review of this youngman's performance. All the best.

G. Prabhakara Sastry  


Subject: touching,moving,inspiring ('I want to provide employment to 50,000 people')

Message :I want sarath's email



Indeed this is an inspiring story to one & all. Recently, Anna Nagar Times too have devoted a full page on this story line. You have done a great job of highlighting it in Tax India Online, which is widely read by many.

Good job.



 And was thinking about that article on Sarath Babu. Not the article really but about why I find it so difficult to appreciate these people. People who refuse to take all the opportunities for happiness that life offers them. Ok, happiness is subjective. But why is it so sinful to think about yourself, put yourself ahead of all others? Who doesn't like the comfort and safety of a pukka house? It's nice that he still remembers where he comes from but that's no reason to let his mother stay in a place, a hut, they all associate with hunger and poverty. And he running a catering business is such a cruel waste of his education. Why his, any education. It doesn't take an MBA from an IIM to figure out why idly in Ahmedabad sets you back by Rs.30 because it is almost exotic there and people pay for exotica. ok, he's the MBA we'll let him figure out how complicated that is but why is he wasting himself on something so easy, so small scale. He says to employ people, maybe if he joins the mainstream and gets richer/powerful he can do more for more people than he ever will now. This exactly is what makes the Infy Narayan Murty bearable, inspite of all the I'm so humble .... Why oh why is it necessary that you live a plain life to be known as humble? I mean look at Bill Gates, he lives the good life and employs so many people with jobs that do a lot more than just pay the rent and is trying to eradicate polio in a country he has nothing to do with but he lives the good life.



And a senior executive in a MNC called me up and informed, "I am inspired by Sarath Babu; I want to resign and start indirect taxes consulting; what are the prospects?". I told him that tax consulting was not exactly as popular and in demand as idlies.

Until tomorrow with more DDT  

Have a nice day.

Mail your comments to

Sub: LTU Fiasco

It is a shame on the part of the MOF to post dead / retired offiers to LTU. Postings in LTU should be made carefully, as these are assessee friendly measures. Officers of high calibre and integrity shd be chosen for the posting. The callous manner in which the officers have been chosen, only shows the little interest that the departmetn has on LTUs. Surely, it will also die down like the help centers.

Posted by jaikumar seetharaman
Sub: chase of ghost in LTU

It is the true story as to how the promotees are treated by CBEC. Out of 1100 or so of AC/DC now working in this computerised era the CBEC is not even aware of Death while in service? so also rett. on superannuation.After all are mere adhoc work force!! Since LTU is the dreamboy of Hon'ble FM let us wait and see the follow up unlike HELPCENTRES.There is a pre-determined fashion of working of man power planning and deployment in CBEC by a team headed by a Member (Per). Is it the rock bottom or tip of ice-berg? The LTU (like any posting and trasfers) should not be thrust upon the assessees--no takers means pl. don't thrust upon -- Prayers for a better perspective by all concerned.

Posted by Unnikrishnan V