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I-T dept may issue summons to Vaghela - The Indian Express

Posted By Ashok V Chowgule (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
30 January 1997

Title : I-T dept may issue summons to Vaghela
Author :
Publication : The Indian Express
Date : January 30, 1997

Not satisfied with Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela's reply to a
notice regarding his source of income, the Income-Tax department is
contemplating issuance of summons or a questionnaire to him in a
day or two.

On a petition filed by chartered accountant, Jaymal Thakore, and
tax consultant Dilip Shah, the Gujarat High Court had earlier
directed the IT department to investigate Vaghela's source of funds
for the journey of legislators to and from Khajuraho in a chartered
plane, their stay in a five-star hotel in Khajuraho, at a hotel in
Diu, his son's wedding and the letter allegedly written by Roads
and Buildings Minister C K Raolji regarding pay-offs to

Following this, the IT department had issued a notice to Vaghela to
file his reply revealing the source of income which enabled him to
bear all these expenses.

Counsel for the IT department Manish Bhatt, submitted before the
court on Tuesday that the reply filed by Vaghela was being
scrutinised. He said some queries had come up to which fresh
replies would be sought from the chief minister.

Bhatt said the I-T department was preparing a questionnaire for
Vaghela and permission had been sought from the Director General of
Income Tax (Investigation) for further action, which would be
decided in one or two days.

The Division Bench of Justice B C Patel and Justice M S Shah sought
a copy of Vaghela's reply. In his reply filed on Monday through
his chartered accountant Vaghela had stated that his source of
income was agriculture. He said he earned about Rs 7 lakh per year
the land owned by his family, which was not taxable income.

He denied allegations that he had borne all these expenses and
pointed out that he was a public figure with a large following.

After going through the reply filed by Vaghela, the Bench said the
IT department should investigate the allegations. Counsel for the
petitioned Kantibhai Puj, submitted that Vaghela had been issuing
contradictory statements regarding the issue and even the fine of
investigation was not clear yet.

The petitioners contended that they had furnished secret
information to the IT department about the unaccounted money
accumulated by Vaghela, but the department had not even begun
investigations in that direction.

IT counsel replied that the information had been passed to the
Deputy Director of Income-Tax (Investigation), Vadodara. The court
held that the progress report regarding the investigation of the
information given by the petitioners be placed before it.

The Bench then sought details on the verification of Raolji's
signature and suggested that the signatures on the letter be
verified with those on routine files when he was a minister.

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