Transport officials on Tuesday seized 10 luxury cars including the likes of Jaguar XJ L, BMW 7-Series, Volvo XC90, Toyota Fortuner and a few others on the charges of tax evasion and fake registration number. All the 10 cars were using the exact same registration number after the owners of these cars found a loophole to pay less amount of tax or completely evade it in a few cases.
This new case brings the nexus between Regional Transport Office (RTO) officials, middlemen and the car owners to light. The main agenda is to evade as much tax as possible. Seven of the 10 cars were carries 5556 registration owned by a single person. The cops say that the owner of this registration number is a property dealer and boasts of several political connections as well.
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Using his links, he registered the cars in various RTOs including Koramangala, Bengaluru East, Electronics City and others. All the cars were seized and parked at the Nelamangala RTO. The exact amount of tax evasion will come to light once the investigation starts.
These vehicles were registered much before the introduction of the Vahan portal. Out of total 10 vehicles, six high-end car owners have tax due of Rs 1.47 crore. Owners of these vehicles have either paid tax partially or have completely bypassed paying any money as tax. The cops also say that there is a possibility that one of the owners is colluding with other owners to sell the registration numbers.
Perplexed with the development, the officials say that the vehicles could have been registered by submitting fake challan numbers of taxes.
Using fake registration is a major offence
It is a major offence to tamper with the registration number in India and change it as per convenience. Each motor vehicle including cars, trucks, buses, two-wheelers and everything else gets a unique registration number from the RTO or the Regional Transport Office. This allows the police to track the vehicle in case of theft or a crime. The registration number of a vehicle is linked to its chassis number and engine number. No two vehicles can have the same chassis number, engine number and registration number in India. Changing the registration number is a criminal offence and the vehicle gets seized immediately.
This is why the Indian government has introduced the High-Security Registration Plate or HSRP. Currently, the Delhi-NCR and authorities of many other states have mandated the use of HSRP and any vehicle without these high-security plates get challans. These registration plates are tamper-proof and are screwed to the vehicle using a single-use bolt that cannot be opened again.
In the past, the cops have seized many vehicles for using tampered registration plates. Also, there is a problem of citizens of one state registering the car from another state where the taxes are lower. The Karnataka Police have also started a crackdown on such vehicles.
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