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Report No. 61

Higher Punishment

5.8. The question of higher punishment for certain offences.-

We shall first consider the question of higher punishment for certain offences. In the Commission's Report on Social and Economic Offencesl, the offence of making false statements in declarations under the Income-tax Act was specifically dealt with, and a recommendation was made to regulate the punishment according to the amount of tax which would have been evaded if the statement by the assessee (now discovered to be false), had been accepted as true.

If the amount of such tax exceeds one lakh of rupees, or if the case is one of a second or subsequent conviction, the recommendation was to prescribe the maximum punishment of 7 years' imprisonment (and fine), with a minimum of six months' imprisonment-there was also a recommendation as to relaxation of the minimum. In other cases, the maximum imprisonment recommended was three years (with fine as an alternative), but there was to be no minimum. The same approach could be adopted for offences under the Central Sales Tax Act. But, in this case, the figure of one lakh of rupees, should be reduced to ten thousand rupees because, even for evasion of tax to the tune of Rs. 10,000, the turnover would have to be fairly high. Further, we are of the opinion that there need be no relaxation of the minimum in this case.

Certain Problems connected with Powers of the States to Levy a Tax on the Sale of Goods and with the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 Back

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