FPJ Exclusive: Scam stuns Maha revenue dept, bogus grass payment receipts for registration

Mumbai: The Department of Revenue is stunned by the spate of scams of bogus grass payment receipts for stamp duty registration. Although two such cases in Latur and Nanded have surfaced, the department fears similar frauds may come to light in the rest of Maharashtra.

In the two cases, the department believes the preliminary reports suggest the scam will be worth Rs1.50 crore.

The department has explained the modus operandi for such fraud. “Such irregularities are in close nexus with the computer operators hired by the department on a contract basis.

The stamp duty registration is done online by choosing various options including e-chalan, certification, stamp paper, and electronic stamp paper.

In Latur and Nanded, it has come to a notice that the computer operator clicks the certification option whereby the property purchasers skip the payment of stamp duty,” a revenue department officer told FPJ.

The officer informed the paper that this is an e-payment (grass payment) scam. “There is clearly a loss to the government exchequer as the actual payment of stamp duty is not done because of an unholy nexus between the computer operator and some low-rank staff,” he said.

He added an FIR has already been registered and departmental inquiry ordered. Earlier, the stamp duty payment was done through franking but the government had introduced online payment since 2015.

The government will now have to put in place safety and security measures to avoid such frauds in future,” a government officer from Nanded said.

The officer said the department will have to recover the stamp duty with a penalty from the concerned purchasers.

The department may also initiate criminal proceedings against the purchasers for the manner in which they have paid the stamp duty through bogus challan.

Annually, more than 25 lakh documents are registered across the state through online payment. The state collects stamp duty and registration of over Rs 25,000 crore every year.

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