I-T Brickbats among AAP’s Fresh Bouquets
NEW DELHI: The investigation unit of the Income Tax depar tment (I-T) has tightened its noose around the AAP, Congress and 48 people and entities for receiving funds from dubious companies allegedly involved in converting illegal cash into legitimate money.
The I-T Department has served notices under Section 131 of the Income Tax Act to further probe into the flow of funds from these dubious companies that came to light after a splinter group of the AAP, known as AVAM, recently disclosed that four such companies had donated `2 crore to the AAP on a single day.
The I-T Department has termed these dubious companies as ‘entry operators’ saying that a recent probe by the department in Kolkata led to detection of substantial unaccounted income. In these cases, the unaccounted income was sought to be converted into legitimate money with the help of non-genuine companies which were acting as entry operators. Similarly inquiry was initiated in Delhi after the AVAM went public showing that cheques issued by companies were allegedly non-genuine and entry operators. “The companies and their Directors could not be traced at the addresses given to banks and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Examination of the accounts of these companies revealed that they have issued accommodation entries to several persons and entities for substantial amounts. It was also found that sources for such entries were prima facie not genuine,” a statement issued by the Finance Ministry said.
The Ministry said notices were issued to about 50 persons and entities, including two political parties on February 9, 2015. These notices seek information about the identity of the contributors and other relevant details which are necessary to complete the process of investigation. The notice served to the AAP sought all the relevant documents, including receipts to the person who delivered the cheque, confirmation letter given to the person by the party and any other transaction between the AAP and the four companies that it might have detected.
Reacting to the I-T notice, the AAP said it was open for any probe by the I-T department or the Enforcement Directorate. “We want this issue to be probed so that these allegations can be put to rest. But while welcoming the probe, we also want an SIT to probe political funding of all political parties,” party spokesperson Atishi Marlena said.
However, the Congress warned the government that donation issue should not be politicised. Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, said a particular company had given a cheque of `10 lakh to the Congress in November 2014 with cover letter and also quoting PAN number. A reply will be sent to the probe n wing with details.