Bhushans granted another week's time to reply to stamp notice

Shanti-Prasanth Bhushan
Allahabad, April 23: Lawyer Shanti Bhushan and his three children were today (April 23) granted one more week's time by the Stamp and Registration office here to reply to a notice for alleged stamp duty evasion to the tune of Rs 1.33 crore on purchase of property in a prime locality in the city.

In the notice, my clients have been asked to file their reply latest by April 28, Bhushans'' lawyer Sangam Agarwal told reporters here.

"Today, I moved an application seeking more time following which Stamp Commissioner K P Pandey extended the last date for filing of reply to May 5"," he said.

The former Union Minister, his sons Prashant and Jayant and daughter Shefali had been issued a notice for alleged evasion of stamp duty on February 5 and a reminder for filing a reply was issued on April 15.

The Bhushans have allegedly evaded the stamp duty by undervaluing their property worth nearly 20 crore. They had purchased the property spread over 7,818 acres here last year by entering into an "agreement to sell" with the previous owners of the land.

The Bhushans used to reside as tenants in the bungalow situated on the land before moving to New Delhi in 1970s though they did not forego the possession of the bungalow which involved them in a litigation with the owners Harimohan Das Tandon, Sudhir Tandon and Satish Tandon.

Later, the litigation was withdrawn in the wake of the "agreement to sell" between the two sides whereby the land was purchased for just Rs one lakh and for which stamp duty of only Rs 2,000 was paid.

Meanwhile, a number of tenants living in the outhouses situated on the land have launched an agitation to protest their "possible eviction" following the new land deal.

The outhouse-dwellers said they feared their "possible eviction" as they were poor and involved in menial jobs and could not afford litigation.

The protestors also said that they have sent an e-mail to social activist Anna Hazare "with the request to make Shanti Bhushan take a sympathetic view of our condition and refrain from forcing us out".


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