NEW DELHI: There will be no tax evasion probe against BSP supremo Mayawati. The Income Tax Department has returned two cases against her to its Noida unit citing jurisdiction issues and the apparent lack of clinching evidence of tax fraud amounting to crores of rupees.
Back in December 2016, three months before the UP Assembly election, the department had revived six tax evasion petitions (TEPs) against Mayawati and others. Some cases were shifted to Income Tax Noida from Lucknow and notices were served to certain real estate developers who were allegedly linked to the tax dodging scandal.
On March 27, after the UP election result, two TEPs were sent to Income Tax Delhi. The most interesting and intriguing part of the entire tax-fraud saga is that Income Tax Delhi returned the file to the Noida office within 48 hours. It appears that it is now headed for a quiet burial.
As per documents accessed by Sunday Express, the principal commissioner of Income Tax Noida sent the two TEPs (120159742X and 140112297Z) on March 22 to Income Tax Delhi which received them on March 27. On March 29, the file was returned to the Income Tax commissioner of Noida citing lack of evidence.
The first of these tax evasion cases (TEP No. 120159742X) was submitted to the chief election commissioner alleging that some bogus and ghost companies were controlled by Mayawati and her friends and family.
Further, a case study of these companies -- showing cash/bank balance/investments of Rs 1200 crore -- and a further list of companies that were allegedly controlled by Anand Kumar, Mayawati’s brother, were forwarded to examine the funds parked in them as well as the dubious bank/cash transaction made by them.
“Perusal of tax jurisdiction details of these companies show none of the above companies as per list provided being assessed in the current jurisdiction of ACIT, CC06. Hence, this office is not in the position to verify the genuineness of funds lying in these companies or genuineness of transaction entered by them,” said the Income Tax note (a copy of which is in the possession of Sunday Express).
While declining a probe, the note interestingly goes on to acknowledge the list of companies mentioned in the petitions. The Income Tax letter says: “However, the list of companies as submitted through TEPs has been taken on record for further reference.”
In the second case, the Income Tax Department observed, “No specific details related to construction of ‘Mahal’ costing 150 Lac Cr. In Gautam Budh Nagar has been provided by the TEP petitioner.
“Further, no specific details about properties in Lucknow, Saharanpur, Agra etc. worth Rs 6 Lakh Crore have been provided, neither any specific detail have been provided with regard to properties worth Rs 12 Lakh Crore (in 125 cities) as such held by Anand Kumar. In the absence of any specific details submitted by the petitioner, this office is not in position to carry any inquiry in this regard,” Income Tax further said.
This newspaper investigated the tax evasion cases against the BSP chief that were handled by the Income Tax Department in an earlier regime. During UPA rule in 2012, a case allegedly involving Rs 2 lakh crore and linked to some top builders and Yadav Singh, then chief engineer of Noida Authority, was laid to rest by the Income Tax (Investigation) wing, which argued: “In the TEP no concrete evidences so as to point out evasion of income tax, has been provided. In the TEP, corruption and favoritism prevalent in NOIDA authority has been highlighted. Looking into the nature of transactions, there appears to be no need to conduct enquiries and the TEP may be referred to UP government/NOIDA authority for examining the charges of corruption in the authority.”
Further, in May 2013, the Income Tax Department said an open probe could be ordered and summons can be issued to examine the alleged tax scandal.
“To verify the allegations, as directed by DIT (Inv)-I, there is a need to conduct open enquiries. If approved, summons u/s 131 of the Income Tax Act may be issued to Noida authority to produce necessary details and examine on oath,” the Income Tax note said.
Section 131 of the Income Tax Act empowers officers to conduct inquiries. The act provides powers to summon individuals and witnesses and examine them under oath and compel production of books and other documents.
A year and a half later later, tax authorities raided Yadav Singh for allegedly acquiring a huge fortune disproportionate to his income by way of a tender scam of thousands of crores.
MAYA TAX BOMBSHELL
Under present regime, 2016-17
- I-T Department revives 6 tax evasion petitions just before UP polls
- Some cases forwarded to Noida I-T office
- Notices served to builders linked to alleged tax fraud case
- After the election results, 2 cases forwarded to I-T Delhi
- Within 48 hours I-T Delhi returns the case, cites jurisdiction issues and lack of evidence.
Under UPA-II regime, 2013
- Rs 2 lakh crore alleged scandal closed due to lack of evidence
- Corruption probe against NOIDA authorities recommended by I-T Department.
- Yadav Singh, then chief engineer of NOIDA, raided by I-T department in Nov. 2014.