The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), Abdur Rauf Chaudhry has ruled that retention of seized documents, laptops, Central Processing Units (CPUs), etc by officers of Directorate of Intelligence & Investigation (I&I) over a protracted period is justified as these items constitute material evidence for production in a court of law to prosecute the tax evader. It is learnt that while disposing of a complaint, FTO ruled that in the matter of retention of documentation and other seized materials by the I&I over a protracted period, it is noted that the seized documents, laptops, CPUs, etc, constitute material evidence and would be needed for production in a court of law in case a decision is taken to prosecute the complainant. These materials cannot therefore be returned to the complainant at the present time. The FTO further ruled that key requirement of I&I that the complainant reconcile and explain the balances appearing in the bank statements and other documentation seized from his business premises has been completely ignored by him. The complainant has not explained how and why payments realised from sales/supplies of products manufactured by mills were reflected in the financial statements of the other business concerns in which the complainant had an interest but did not appear in those pertaining to the mill itself. This anomaly has been used by I&I to reach the conclusion that by so diverting payments to entities other than the Mills itself, the complainant was able to drastically suppress turnover and thereby evade sales tax due on a very large scale. The I&I has estimated the complainant's sales tax evasion running in billions of rupees.