Mumbai: Taking serious note of an foreign national finding a PAN card by claiming to get an Indian citizen and utilizing it to start two banks, the Bombay High Court has summoned three senior Central government officials show up before it on 8 January to demonstrate what action ended up taken in the problem.
“This petition shows shocking inaction from relevant departments with the Union of India…What is brought up by this papers are that the first respondent, that is a foreign national, has got a new UTI PAN card status. Further he’s got opened accounts with two banks, namely, HSBC Bank and Bombay Mercantile Bank. He has also acquired properties in India,” noted a division bench inside a recent order.
Sanjay Punmiya had filed a petition alleging that Faisal Essa Yosuf got a new PAN card in their name and banking accounts were opened by him.
The HC, on earlier occasions, had asked respondents to carry an inquiry about how the PAN card was issued and make a change but no steps were adopted, the bench noted and warned to issue contempt notices up against the concerned officers if stern measures weren’t enforced.
The bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka, in the written order, directed a representative of Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Mumbai, a senior officer nominated by Joint Secretary (CPV), Ministry of External Affairs, and also a senior officer nominated by Chief Commissioner
of Income Tax, Mumbai, to stay present in court on 8 January together with the relevant documents to exhibit action taken, pursuant for the order passed with the High Court on earlier occasions.
The bench also ordered that your report an inquiry made around the issue shall even be submitted ahead of the next date of hearing.
During a previous hearing on 28 September, 2015, government’s senior counsel had brought up that visa was granted towards the first respondent which can be valid till 16 December, 2018.
“Various allegations have already been levelled from the first respondent. It is stated he has got such a Check PAN card status claiming to get an Indian national…All this necessitates a very serious inquiry with the concerned department in the Union of India,” the HC noted to use order.
“The petitioner did his job by indicating the alleged illegality committed from the first respondent. He is not likely to know the details with the departments which can be obliged to look in the illegality,” the HC noted.
“It could be the responsibility in the law department in the Union of India to determine which departments looks into the allegations produced by petitioner and initiate appropriate court action, as appropriate,” the judge observed.
The HC noted that under clause 3 of their order dated 28 September, 2015, it had asked the proper department in the Centre to initiate an inquiry and submit research to it. However, no such report continues to be filed. Besides, the HC order dated 29 October, 2015, notes that this Central
government has never taken any steps, said the bench.
The court also noted that this counsel appearing for your Union government had produced statement on 1 October that though he’s addressed letters to numerous officers in the Central government, no response was received.
The HC had directed on 1 October how the concerned government departments shall hold an enquiry for ascertaining perhaps the first respondent has committed illegalities as alleged.
“If such illegalities are simply, there isn’t any doubt that prompt action will have to become taken with the Union of India. If the judge finds that this Union of India has never taken any action, serious view will have for being taken about the said default,” the HC had witnessed in the 1 October order.
During the hearing on 17 December, the federal government counsel produced instructions written through the Centre towards the respondents to make a change as per the previous orders with the HC. “Inspite from the letter, none from the respondents had any instructions for the compliance,” the HC further noted.
“In take a look at clause 6 from the order dated 29 October, 2015, this can be a fit case where contempt notices are required for being issued towards the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, the Joint Secretary (CPV) and FRRO, Mumbai,” observed the bench.
“Senior counsel Beni Chatterjee, appearing for your Union of India, states he can ensure that necessary action is going to be taken, and you can also check Passport Status. Only in take a look at this assurance, we’re not issuing any notice of contempt currently,” the bench said.
However, the High Court asked the respondents to stay present around the next date of hearing on 8 January.