After the Income Tax Department has launched its first set of prosecutions in the investigations of Panama Papers, 98 MLAs and 7 Lok Sabha MPs have come under the radar for prima facie discrepancy between their assets and declared sources of income, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) informed the Supreme Court on Monday.
The affidavit submitted by the CBDT claim that the assets these politicians have differences when compared to their known source of income.
CBDT made the remarks after the apex court pointed out that the govt machinery is not very helpful in revealing details of the increase in assets of politicians and lawmakers, reports The Hindu.
CBDT clarified that the investigation is under way into the assets of 42 MLAs and nine Rajya Sabha MPs, while no discrepancy was found in the value of assets and the declared/source of income of 117 MLAs, 19 Lok Sabha MPs and two Rajya Sabha MPs.
To verify the disproportionate growth, CBDT received figures from the Directors General of Income Tax (Investigation) concerning the verification of the assets of 26 Lok Sabha MPs, 215 MLAs and two Rajya Sabha MPs in the list.
The CBDT will be looking into the income and assets of 26 Lok Sabha MPs, 11 Rajya Sabha MPs and 257 MLAs handed over to the court by NGO Lok Prahari, which claimed that the politicians assets and the income did not match and showed a disproportionate growth of 500% from the list last submitted during the elections.
The latest affidavit submitted by the CBDT comes after the court was not satisfied by the previous one, “The government says it is not averse to some reform. But necessary information has not been put on record,” the court had observed earlier.
Following the observation the latest affidavit has a sealed envelope containing the real copies of reports submitted by the Income Tax Dept.
The CBDT affidavit said that since the I-T department is graduating towards a “non-intrusive method” of verification of politicians’ assets, it would only consider specific cases referred to it by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
CBDT clarified that asset verification was done in the case of politicians, who enjoyed “phenomenal growth when their current affidavit is compared to that filed by them during the previous election.”
Verification will also be done for politicians who had movable and immovable assets exceeding Rs 5 crore.