Ten high-end cars registered in the city impounded

Some vehicles were registered under fake tax challans: Transport Commissioner

An alleged nexus between Regional Transport Office (RTO) officials, middlemen and car owners to evade taxes while registering high-end cars has again come to the fore.

Transport officials on Tuesday impounded 10 luxury vehicles of various makes, including Mercedes Benz and BMW among others after it was found that their owners were allegedly involved in evading tax. By reportedly misusing ‘loopholes’ in the system, impounded vehicles were registered by either partially paying tax or in some cases evading it completely.

All the impounded vehicles were registered in Bengaluru.

Transport Commissioner N. Shivakumar said that these vehicles were registered prior to the introduction of Vahan 4 portal. “Of the 10 vehicles, owners of six high-end cars have due of ₹1.47 crore as tax. Owners of vehicles that include BMW and Mercedes Benz either paid tax partially or not paid tax at all. There is a possibility of the RTO officials colluding with owners of the vehicles or the agents,” said Mr. Shivakumar, adding that an investigation into this is under way.

The official said the vehicles could have been registered by submitting fake challan numbers of taxes.

L. Narendra Holkar, additional commissioner of transport (Enforcement South), said that they have sought information and registration details of the vehicles from the National Informatic Centre which had designed the registration portal.

Seven of the cars impounded bear the registration number, 5556, and are allegedly owned by a single person. An official said the owner of the car is a property owner with political links. He had registered the cars in various RTOs such as Koramangala, Bengaluru East, Electronics City among others. They are currently impounded at the Nelamangala RTO. "The extent of the tax evasion by the owner will be know after the investigation," said the official.

In the recent past, there were many instances of owners registering high-end cars outside the State, but plying them on roads in Karnataka without paying taxes. But owners of luxury cars registered in the city with permanent registration numbers evading taxes has raised serious questions about the functioning of the RTOs.

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