CA Avinash Rajopadhye
Place: Ward [?] office of Income Tax Department
Time: Nearing Mid-Night
An assessing officer [referred to as AO] having finished his “unofficial work”, no need to explain what an unofficial work is. He was about to pack up. He checked all drawers of the table and door of the cupboard duly locked. Laptop was already turned off. For a while he stared around the cabin making sure nothing confidential left in open. He lit cigarette and dragged mouthful of smoke. He felt loose and relaxed.
Suddenly there was sound of window getting opened. He squinted at the window holding cigarette in the mouth. Nothing visible. But he could sense something had come through the window. An empty glass kept in the window frame fell on the floor. AO became alert. He stopped smoking. He heard cracking noise somebody was pulling chair in front of him. He started chanting Ram Ram Ram.
“Hello Saheb how are you?”
AO looked around the room from the door to all corners carefully to check the source of voice he heard. Nothing visible.
“Don’t try to call anybody inside the room” he heard this instruction when he was about to push call bell forgetting that everybody had left.
“Who Who are you?” stammered AO.
“PAN number AAZ##9526D, Aadhar Card number 8535##222” said invisible entity [let us call him ghost] in the room.
“Why don’t you identify yourself by name?” asked AO.
“Go to Income Tax site or Aadhar site and identify me very easy in digital India!” said the ghost.
“Sorry internet is down for last two days” said AO.
“Ok my name is Baburao Ganpatrao Apte” responded the ghost. The moment the AO heard the name he became alert. He remembered the case of reassessment Baburao Ganpatro Apte. Last three months he was dealing with this case and harassing the family. Baburao left nothing to his son except this income tax legacy. Baburao died 6 years ago.
“But what should I do for you?” queried the AO politely.
“For me? first thing you served notice on me I mean in my name. Do you think it’s legally correct? answer is no as I am dead.” Baburao paused.
“Are you trying to teach me Income Tax Law?” very normal reaction came from the AO not realizing that he was talking to the ghost assessee.
“I make humble submission just refer section 159 of the Income Tax Act” replied the ghost assessee.
“What section? I don’t care” arrogance was growing.
“Mind your language officer I am humbly asking you to refer section 159” said the ghost assessee.
“What’s wrong with you? let me tell I have information in my possession “replied AO.
“what information?”asked the ghost assessee.
“That you made huge cash deposits into your bank account” revealed AO.
“So you are asking my son the source of cash deposits” the ghost assessee queried.
“Yes that’s correct “AO
“what did my son say?” asked ghost assessee
“He said he knew nothing about his father’s financial affairs, besides he said that you were teaching in government school on scanty salary of 15000 per month managing a family consisting of 6, two daughters, a son, wife and you yourself. You were an ardent follower of Gandhian Philosophy. When I confronted him with huge cash deposits of 15 lacs and withdrawals your son was surprised. He said “Oh My God my father was so rich why he forced us to live in poverty so many years. He never stitched more than 2 pairs of cloth every year. He never gave us minimum comfort of life. I can’t believe my father had lacs of money”. explained the AO.
“So, my son doesn’t know about the money deposited into my bank account. Let me tell you, I collected that money going from door to door to help leprosy patients in my village. I spent all that money for food and shelter of leprosy patients. I never disclosed this social work to anyone in my family and to my friends and colleagues in my life time. One day I died of heart attack. My secret of social work buried with me because I never disclosed my identity to leprosy patients also. You can verify this fact Sir, go outskirt of my village you would find 20 leprosy patients, I will give names of those patients you go and meet them. “I confessed.
Having heard this the Assessing Officer felt very sorry. He folded his hands in the air and apologized to the ghost assessee.
CA- Avinash Rajopadhye Pune