In a statement that will shock or worry many, the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has asked the people to refuse paying taxes if the government fails to control corruption in the state.
The bench comprising of Justice Arun Chaudhari has expressed serious concern over the ever-growing number of corruption cases in the state of Maharashtra and has passed several strictures on them.
The Nagpur bench was working on an embezzlement case which involves the Maharashtra government and Bank of Maharashtra (BOM).
While passing several strictures on the case where the two are accused of overlooking the embezzlement of funds in Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe Vikas Mahamandal (LASVM), Justice Chaudhari asked Maharastra DGP to find out mote accuracy of such cases that are reported in the newspapers and act immediately on correcting it.
LASVM is an organization that was set up for the uplift of Mathang community of Maharashtra and has been accused of embezzling funds worth Rs 385 crore.
Concerned about such cases, the bench called on all the citizens and asked them to raise their voice against “this menace” and “refuse to pay taxes by launching a non-cooperation movement” if the government fails to control such corruption.
Justice Chaudhari then termed corruption as a “hydra-headed monster” and said it was high time that citizens come together and show their respective governments that enough was enough.
“The miasma (unholy atmosphere) of corruption can be beaten if all work together. If it continues, taxpayers’ should refuse to pay taxes through a non-cooperation movement…The taxpayers are in deep anguish. Let the government as well as mandarins in corridors of power understand their excruciating pain and anguish. They have been suffering for over two decades in the state. There is an onerous responsibility on those who govern to prove to taxpayers that eradication of corruption would not turn out to be a forlorn hope for them.”
He further observed that corruption in government-run financial organizations had become order of the day and a common occurrence, especially in the last two decades.
“The taxpayers are merely looking at this grim situation. Does the taxpayers pay the money to the government for such kind of acrobatics being played? Ethics and morals have taken a back seat in modern India’s scheme of things….It’s surprising that the central or state governments unions demonstrate for VII Pay Commission but don’t condemn, outcast or protest against their counterparts indulging in corruption. There are many government corporations which indulged in huge misappropriation of the taxpayers’ money in the alike fashion.”
Justice Chaudhari further noted that Mohol (Solapur) MLA Ramesh Kadam was made LASVM chairman in connivance with managing director Shravan Bawane and BOM officers.
The two along with few BMO officers then allegedly withdrew crores of rupees by showing fake expenditure, disbursement of loan of subsidy, and grants, stated the court order to embezzle money.
Expressing his shock over the manner in which the money was misused, Justice Chaudhari then ended by saying:
“It shocks one and all as to the manner in which the taxpayers’ money is being swindled, misappropriated and robbed by such unscrupulous holders of posts. How this huge amount of Rs385 crores will come back is a million dollar question.”