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Arindam Chaudhuri, the director of Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), was arrested on Friday by the tax officials after unduly claiming the payment of service tax to the tune of Rs 23 crore.
According to the reports, the Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) South Delhi Commissionerate arrested him on Friday under Section 89 of the Finance Act which enlists penalties for evading payment of service tax. Chaudhuri was arrested over exceedingly claiming the payment of Central Value Added Tax (CENVAT) service tax credit of about Rs 23 crore.
Chaudhuri had made a credit entry of CENVAT of around Rs 23 crore as there was a shortage of funds to pay the service tax. He showed the amount in next year’s balance sheets, but he never paid it.
Gurudas Malik Thakur, Chaudhuri’s colleague and also another director of IIPM, was also arrested under the same section and sent to 14 days judicial custody. The tax officials produced them before duty magistrate Jyoti Maheshwari in the Patiala House Court, and they were granted judicial custody of 14 days. They will be produced before the court again on 3rd September.
Reportedly, the tax officials have begun an investigation and are likely to cover other properties held by Chaudhuri and his company in Delhi, including overseas properties.
Earlier, he was arrested on March 14 and later granted bail after he had allegedly submitted a forged medical certificate when police had asked him to join an investigation in connection with a 2016 case.
Arindam Chaudhuri, a Mamata Banerjee sympathiser
Arindam Chaudhuri, who is now accused of illegal tax claims, is a well known supporter and sympathiser of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
In the past, he has written editorials and blogs hailing Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress. Interestingly, Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Mamata Banerjee had an MBA degree from Chaudhuri’s IIPM.
Last year, just after the Lok Sabha elections, a controversy had erupted after Abhishek Banerjee had furnished wrong details about his educational qualifications in the affidavit submitted by him during elections. A complaint was registered with the election officials alleging that in 2014 elections, Banerjee has submitted in the affidavit that he has completed his MBA degree from IIPM university which is not recognised.
In 2015, IIPM went defunct after it was found that the institute was offering MBA degrees to students on false pretences. In a landmark judgement in 2014, the Delhi High Court had categorically asked IIPM to stop offering any undergraduate or postgraduate degree, and also to not use words like BBA and MBA in its advertisements as it was not authorised to issue such degrees.