In another major development which occurred on Tuesday, the income tax department issued a notice to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who is facing allegations of corruption and money laundering.
Mr. Singh filed revised IT returns for assessment year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 showing revised agricultural income, showing an increase of 18 to 30 fold of income in the three years. The total increase in agricultural income amounted to Rs. 6.10 crore.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was moved before Delhi high court against Mr. Singh by noted lawyer and member of AAP (Aam Adami Party). Prashant Bhushan stated that on December 1, 2010, the IT department seized from the office of Ispat industries, documents whose spreadsheet purports to show that payments were made to “VBS”.
Chief Minister has denied any dealing with Ispat industries and said that the initials “VBS” do not correspond to his name.
On November 27, high court sought reply from the CBI about the VBS case. The CBI submitted before the court that it was already probing the matter.
Mr. Singh had filed a return of Rs. 7.35 lakh as his agricultural income in 2008-09 which rose to Rs. 2.21 crore in his revised returns. His aggregate income became Rs. 2.37 crore from mere Rs. 23.73 lakh.
Similarly, his agricultural income from Rs. 15 lakh and total income from Rs. 59.67 lakh became Rs. 2.80 crore and Rs. 3.25 crore respectively in the revised returns of 2009-10.
In the amended IT return of 2010-11 Mr. Virbhadra Singh’s income of Rs. 25 lakh from farm house and Rs. 40.13 lakh from all sources suddenly became Rs. 1.55 crore and Rs. 1.70 crore.
Crores of money in cash had been deposited in the account of one of his men Anand Chauhan and LIC’s lucrative one time premium policies were bought the very next day on the name of Mr. Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, son Vikramaditya Singh and daughter Aprajita.
In a notice issued today, the IT officials have decided to re-examine the 79 years old leader’s returns for the financial year 2010-11. Mr. Singh had filed a revised return in 2012 which shows a four-fold increase in his income from the apple orchards he owns.
The revised return was challenged through a Public Interest Litigation or PIL filed in the Delhi high court. Acting on the PIL, the Delhi high court issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI to look into the matter.
Mr. Arun Dhumal, son of BJP leader Mr. P.K. Dhumal, has called the income tax department’s notice a vindication of their allegations against Virbhadra Singh.
Six times CM has been calling the allegations against him “politically motivated” and said he is ready for a Lokayukta probe into his income