The government has suspended the assistant commissioner, Goods and Services Tax (GST) at Mumbai, Deepak Kumar Niranjannath Pandit on grounds of possessing assets disproportionate to known sources of income, after a thorough probe triggered by an anonymous complaint to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on July 22, 2019, two persons familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
Allegations of the lavish spends made by Pandit in the weddings of his two sons and in the acquisition of costly flats in Mumbai were prima facie true, the two added. Pandit, did not respond to the request for comments. Pandit, and one of his sons, who owns a film production house, were also contacted in Mumbai, but declined comment.
Based on the findings of investigations conducted by both the Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC) and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the government decided to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Pandit and he was put under immediate suspension on November 22, the two people cited in the first instance added.
After reviewing the probe, CBIC chairman Pranab K Das November 20, 2019 wrote to the Central Bureau of Investigation, requesting the agency to register a case of "disproportionate assets" and carry out a "detailed investigation", an official said.
Spokespersons of the finance ministry, CBDT and CBIC did not respond to email queries. The finance ministry is the administrative head of CBIC and CBDT, the apex body that administers matters related to income-tax.
Giving more details, the first person added that preliminary investigations revealed that Pandit amassed several residential and commercial properties, with the values understated in immovable property returns filed.