Income Tax dept freezes CPM's Rs 4.8 crore bank account in Kerala amid probe

"The bank account, started in 1998, was in the name of the CPM Thrissur district committee. Upon examining the party's I-T returns, we discovered that the details of this account were not disclosed," said an I-T official.
The account in a nationalised bank in Thrissur caught the attention of I-T investigators when Rs 1 crore was recently withdrawn from it (Photo | PTI)
The account in a nationalised bank in Thrissur caught the attention of I-T investigators when Rs 1 crore was recently withdrawn from it (Photo | PTI)

KOCHI: Hot on the heels of the Congress party receiving notices from the income tax department, a bank account of the CPM containing Rs 4.8 crore has been frozen.

This action comes after the unexpected interrogation of CPM Thrissur district secretary M M Varghese by I-T sleuths at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Kochi as part of the probe into the money-laundering case related to the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank scam.

The account in a nationalised bank in Thrissur caught the attention of I-T investigators when Rs 1 crore was recently withdrawn from it. "The bank account, started in 1998, was in the name of the CPM Thrissur district committee. Upon examining the party's I-T returns, we discovered that the details of this account were not disclosed. Currently, there is Rs 4.8 crore in the bank account. We have frozen the account and initiated an investigation. The transactions made through the account are under scrutiny. Furthermore, efforts are underway to identify any additional accounts belonging to the political party in other banks across Kerala that were not disclosed in the I-T returns," stated an I-T official.

The action was initiated by an I-T special team tasked with monitoring the flow of black money for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Following the investigation, the I-T department will proceed with penal measures against the CPM if the party fails to provide a satisfactory explanation regarding the bank account. The ED, as part of its probe into the Karuvannur Bank money laundering case, has alleged that the Left party maintained undisclosed bank accounts in the bank.

The account in a nationalised bank in Thrissur caught the attention of I-T investigators when Rs 1 crore was recently withdrawn from it (Photo | PTI)
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This marks the first instance of the income tax department probing bank transactions of the CPM. "Significant cash transactions were identified in the bank account of the CPM district committee. Given the election season, we launched an investigation into these transactions. It was revealed that the funds in the bank account were not disclosed by the party in its I-T returns. We gathered information from Varghese regarding the bank account transactions," said a source.

The interrogation was followed by I-T searches at various locations in Thrissur and Ernakulam. However, I-T officials refrained from disclosing specific details regarding the premises subjected to the searches. It is understood that I-T officials collected documents as part of the search operation.

The I-T special team commenced enforcement activities following the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections last month. To date, the I-T department has seized approximately Rs 3.2 crore from various parts of the state suspected to be black money intended for use in the upcoming elections. The special team comprises around 150 officials deployed across the state to monitor black money flow and scrutinize suspicious bank transactions.

The account in a nationalised bank in Thrissur caught the attention of I-T investigators when Rs 1 crore was recently withdrawn from it (Photo | PTI)
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