In a bizarre development, the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has released a list of some nine Income Tax Department defaulters comprising companies and individuals who have reportedly gone 'missing' and untraceable.
The matter came to light when the SEBI Recovery Officers attempted to serve the notices of demand on these defaulters against whom the Recovery Certificates have been drawn up.
Some of the defaulters who have to cough out unspecified amounts of dues, are missing for the past nearly two years, and some others untraceable for the past two weeks, from one or multiple addresses available with the market regulator.
They are: MYNK1906 Industries India Ltd, with three known addresses, one at Vile Parle and two in south Mumbai; Inducon India Ltd., with two addresses, one each in south Mumbai and Andheri, (both untraceable since April 27, 2021).
There's Classic Press International Ltd., with two addresses in Goregaon suburb, but is said to be out of bounds since June 17, 2021.
Three others that are 'missing' since July 19, 2022 from multiple addresses are: Goodearth Financial Services Ltd, from Vile Parle east; Aci Infocom Ltd, operating from three addresses in Kandivali and three in Nariman Point; and Tejoomals Industries Ltd, not located at its sole address in Santacruz.
Rajendra Mining Spares Co. Ltd, working from two locations in Andheri east has gone untraceable since July 26, 2022; Gloria Leasing Ltd, operating from south Mumbai and Karjat in Raigad, not available since September 29, 2022.
Dynavox Industries Ltd, functioning from two neighbouring locations in Worli, has become missing since this month, December 6, 2022.
Welcoming the SEBI move, Trade Unions Joint Action Committee (TUJAC) Convenor and banking expert Vishwas Utagi said that it is "a matter of serious concern" how these entities and the individuals connected with them have abruptly gone off the radar, and must be probed.
"These companies are liable to pay their dues and various government taxes... If they don't come forward, it will pave the way for SEBI to move other agencies and invoke relevant laws to attach and sell off these defaulters' assets to recover its outstanding amounts," Utagi told IANS.
Admitting to the 'untraceable defaulters', the SEBI said that it has not been able to serve the Notice of Demands on them "at their last known address".
The SEBI has 'advised' these defaulters to contact the Recovery Officer Srishti Ambokar vide a letter or email within a fortnight by January 12, 2023.
It has also appealed to the general public that if anybody has any knowledge on the whereabouts of these defaulters, they can write/email to the Recovery Officer by the same date, though in this era, no telephone numbers are provided.