Udayavni Special

I-T dept summons Cong’s Ahmed Patel in tax evasion case linked to party funding


PTI, Mar 6, 2020, 5:33 PM IST

New Delhi: The Income Tax Department has summoned senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in connection with a tax evasion probe linked to monetary transactions of the party, officials said on Friday.

They said Patel has been sent a fresh notice to appear in person in his capacity as the treasurer of the Congress.

There was no immediate reaction from Patel to the fresh summons.

Patel, also a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat, had informed the department that he was unwell when the first summons were sent to him for appearance in February.

He is now supposed to appear before the department early next month.

The officials said the department wants to question Patel and understand the income, donations and expenses of the Congress and confront him with documents, related to the party’s purported funding, seized after searches last year at various locations in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

It suspects irregularities in these transactions and has also has grilled about a dozen Congress office-bearers in the past.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which makes policy for the Income Tax (I-T) Department, had said in a statement in November last year that the raids were conducted at 42 locations including in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Erode to unearth a large tax evasion nexus in the first week of that month.

The searches were on a group of people issuing bogus bills and conducting alleged hawala transactions, it had said.

These raids are said to be linked to probe in this case.

Raids conducted by the taxman at 52 locations in Madhya Pradesh, including at the premises of Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s aides, last year have also led to the recovery of certain “documents and evidence” which form the basis of this case.

The CBDT had said the I-T department had detected a “widespread and well-organised” hawala racket of about Rs 281 crore during raids against the close aides of Nath, who is also the president of the party unit in Madhya Pradesh, and others.

It said I-T sleuths had recovered Rs 14.6 crore of “unaccounted” cash and seized diaries and computer files of suspect payments made between people in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.

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