Inquiry into allegations on Ministers in progress: IT Dept

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Kochi, Dec 18 (UNI) The Income Tax Department today told the Kerala High Court that the allegations of tax evasion against State Ministers T M Isaac and M A Baby are of general nature and inquiry is in progress.

On allegations concerning State CPI (M) Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, details of educational expenditure of his son and daughter had been sought from him under Provision 133 (6) of the IT Act and a reply was being awaited, the Department said.

In a statement filed by Additional Solicitor General P Parameswaran Nair on behalf of Director General of Income Tax (Investigation),the Department said the allegations against Finance Minister Isaac and Education and Culture Minister M A Baby that they had amassed unaccounted wealth and were indulging in tax evasion, were of ''general nature and cannot be inquired into unless any specific details about the wealth and tax evasion are provided.'' It had been ascertained Mr Issac had tax assessment records while the same for Mr Baby could not be located so far. The matter was being examined further, it added.

On the alleged deposit of Rs 27.98 lakh by Lufthansa Air Company in the South Indian Bank's New Delhi Branch of Swaralaya, of which Mr Baby was the vice-president, the Department said the deposit was made in 1997-98 and had no relevance from the Income Tax angle as this was beyond the maximum period of six years for an IT assessment to be re-opened.

Regarding allegations against Mr Vijayan, the details of education of his son and daughter in Birmingham and Bangalore had been sought.

Investigations were progressing into the alleged 'benami' company--Techni Valia, Chennai-- owned by Mr Vijayan.

On the other alleged benami company, Kamala International Exports, Singapore, as this was an overseas concern, the matter had been brought to the notice of the Foreign Taxes Division of the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

After perusing the statement, Mr Justice Antony Dominique adjourned the matter for two weeks.

UNI

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