KOLKATA: It was a bolt from the blue for a Kolkata electrician when he received a notice from the Income Tax department on Thursday. The man, who barely earns Rs 10,000 per month was slapped a notice to explain transactions worth Rs 5.74 crore in his account with a private bank.

Birju Rajak, a resident of a humble single room hut near rail station received a notice from the Income Tax department. Rajak, who could only study till class VI at a night school in Kolkata managed to figure out that a huge transaction has taken place and he is in the eye of the storm. But Rajak, who runs from pillar to post since morning to earn bread for the family was clueless about the details therein.

The notice dated July 30, 2018 and signed by an official of the investigation wing of the Income Tax department in Kolkata, mentioned that Rajak has an account with a private bank and a total of Rs 5.74 crore was debited in the account between May and September, 2011. He was also asked to furnish audited financial statements for 2012-13 and bank statement by the Income Tax authorities. The notice also mentioned that Rajak will have to furnish business activities of his associate concerns and source of cash receipts and deposits.

The director (investigation) S K Dash said, “We receive many such information which are investigated by this directorate as per the standard operating procedure for handling such cases.” According to a senior officer of the Income Tax department, all such complaints are system generated and the department officials only investigate the cases. Officials investigate thousands of cases each year based on the system generated complaints.

According to the notice, the case revolves around a Kolkata based developer which has changed its name a few years back. Digging into the details of the company with its registered office located at India Place, it was found that the company has two directors who are in turn directors of a host of companies. Most of these networked companies have a status of “strike off” on the database of the Registrar of Companies.

According to IT department sources, banks file Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) if they notice any unusual movement of money in any account. The FIU then run the STR through a lot of checks to ascertain its authenticity. When convinced, the FIU forwards the report to the Income Tax department. The department then starts investigation.

While Rajak could not understand the entire notice, he took it to a few friends. “I have never heard of any such companies. For the past 11 years I have been working as a mechanic and do small repair jobs or electric line works for people,” he said. Rajak, who lives in a slum with his parents, must work even on a Sunday to make ends meet. “I have an account with a nationalised bank but there is a meagre amount in the account. Most of the day’s earning is spent to meet daily expenses leaving me almost nothing to save,” he said.

When he told his parents about the notice, they became afraid. They have asked him to the Income Tax office with whatever documents he has. “I will go to the office on Monday. Unfortunately, I must forego my earning for the day. Hope the officials understand my position,” he said.
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