Income, assets of 7 MPs, 98 MLAs don’t match: CBDT

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NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) informed the Supreme Court on September 11 that it had found discrepancies between the incomes and assets of several MLAs and a few MPs after verification of their election affidavits.
Referring to assets declared in election affidavits by seven Lok Sabha members and 98 MLAs, the CBDT said, “Verification prima facie with known sources of income has indicated discrepancy and, therefore, these are taken up for further investigation which may include reference to the assessing officer for making assessment.”
This revelation came in the affidavit filed by the CBDT in response to a petition filed in 2015 by NGO “Lok Prahari”, which had submitted a list of 26 Lok Sabha MPs, 11 Rajya Sabha MPs and 257 MLAs to the tax department seeking verification of their election affidavits while alleging substantial increases in their assets compared to the asset details given by them in previous election affidavits. It had alleged in the SC that the CBDT was taking no action on the information given to the tax department.
Seen along with the a development on Friday, when the SC took up a petition for scrutiny and sought the response of the Election Commission and the Union government on a plea for a mechanism to provide for penal consequences for candidates giving false information in election affidavits, the two rulings of the apex court in a space of four days will have a significant impact on making elections fair and transparent.
In the Lok Prahari case, the CBDT said it had entered into an agreement with the EC on verification of asset details of candidates submitted in election affidavits. The categories of affidavits which would be verified are specific cases referred by the EC; cases of phenomenal growth in assets compared to the details given in previous affidavit; cases of winning candidates and veracity of the affidavits compared to the returns of income filed by them; instances where there was no PAN but movable and immovable assets disclosed were in excess of Rs 5 crore; and cases where new immovable assets above a threshold of Rs 2 crore were found compared to the last affidavit.
NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it had found discrepancies between the incomes and assets of several MLAs and a few MPs after verification of their election affidavits.
Referring to assets declared in election affidavits by seven Lok Sabha members and 98 MLAs, the CBDT said, “Verification prima facie with known sources of income has indicated discrepancy and, therefore, these are taken up for further investigation which may include reference to the assessing officer for making assessment.”
This revelation came in the affidavit filed by the CBDT in response to a petition filed in 2015 by NGO “Lok Prahari”, which had submitted a list of 26 Lok Sabha MPs, 11 Rajya Sabha MPs and 257 MLAs to the tax department seeking verification of their election affidavits while alleging substantial increases in their assets compared to the asset details given by them in previous election affidavits. It had alleged in the SC that the CBDT was taking no action on the information given to the tax department.
Seen along with the a development on September 8, when the SC took up a petition for scrutiny and sought the response of the Election Commission and the Union government on a plea for a mechanism to provide for penal consequences for candidates giving false information in election affidavits, the two rulings of the apex court in a space of four days will have a significant impact on making elections fair and transparent.
In the Lok Prahari case, the CBDT said it had entered into an agreement with the EC on verification of asset details of candidates submitted in election affidavits. The categories of affidavits which would be verified are specific cases referred by the EC; cases of phenomenal growth in assets compared to the details given in previous affidavit; cases of winning candidates and veracity of the affidavits compared to the returns of income filed by them; instances where there was no PAN but movable and immovable assets disclosed were in excess of Rs 5 crore; and cases where new immovable assets above a threshold of Rs 2 crore were found compared to the last affidavit.
On the list of MPs and MLAs submitted by Lok Prahari to the tax department for verification, the CBDT said in the case of nine Rajya Sabha MPs and 42 MLAs, “the verification reports from Director General of Income Tax are pending”. It said no discrepancy was found in affidavits filed by nine Lok Sabha MPs, two Rajya Sabha MPs and 117 MLAs.
Explaining its role in verification of election affidavits, the CBDT said, “Given that revenue augmentation is the primary concern of the income tax department, and since increasingly the department is graduating towards non-intrusive methods, the verification of election affidavits is carried out in respect of specific category of such cases, as per agreed parameters between EC and CBDT”.

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