The Income Tax Department in Nagpur has clarified that there is no investigation pending against former BJP president Nitin Gadkari.
Gadkari had to step down from his post in January 2013 following allegations of dubious investments in Nagpur-based Purti Group of Industries.
The party on Monday claimed that the IT Department’s clarification gives a clean chit to Gadkari in the case.
In response to an application filed by a Delhi-based RTI activist Sumit Dalal, the Director of IT (Investigation) Chet Ram conveyed the status of inquiry against Gadkari in a letter dated April 30.
“The applicant (Dalal) is hereby informed that there is no enquiry or investigation presently pending in this directorate against Shri Nitin Gadkari,” the letter stated.
Dalal on March 23 had sought information regarding inquiries pending against Gadkari. The Central Public Information Officer with the IT Department on March 28 declined information on the ground that the directorate was out of the ambit of the RTI Act. Later, Dalal filed an appeal against the officer to Chet Ram on April 28.
Gadkari has claimed that the IT Department’s reply has vindicated his stand that the allegations levelled against him were wrong and politically motivated.
“The timing of this malicious and sinister campaign shows that it was a conspiracy to tarnish my image,” he told reporters at Nagpur airport.
The BJP’s Maharashtra spokesperson Madhav Bhandari alleged that the government had misused its machinery against Gadkari out of political vendetta.
“It was a conspiracy and there must be a thorough investigation into who was its mastermind,” Bhandari said.
A close aide of Gadkari said that the IT department’s reply would help him get a secure position in the party. “There are no other allegations against Gadkari. He will come clean now,” the aide said.
The BJP in September 2012 had amended its constitution so that Gadkari could get a second consecutive term of three years as party president.
However, on the eve of the end of his first term on January 22, 2013, reports came out that the IT Department had conducted raids and carried out searches at Purti’s offices in Mumbai and Nagpur.