Hyderabad, Jan 19: The Income Tax department has launched prosecution in court against a Telangana MLA for allegedly amassing undisclosed income worth Rs 500 crore in a case of tax evasion.
The I-T department, officials said, has initiated action against Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) MLA S Rajender Reddy and has charged him under "sections 276 (1) and 277 of the I-T Act" pertaining to offences of wilful attempt to evade taxes and false statement in verification.
When contacted by PTI, Reddy's gunman said the "legislator is in a meeting and cannot take calls right now". Reddy is an MLA from the Narayanpet Assembly constituency in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana. He had last year switched sides from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and had joined the party in power in the state.
The I-T action came after the Bengaluru investigation wing of the department had carried out searches against Reddy and his educational trusts in December, 2015 and the operation led the taxman to seize "cash of about Rs 20 crore, seizure of highly incriminating documents and detection of undisclosed income of more than Rs 500 crore".
After the prosecution was filed by the tax department in a court in Raichur in Karnataka in November last, the MLA had last month filed an anticipatory bail before the Principal Sessions Court which allowed his plea but not before asking the lawmaker to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh and surety bonds of equal sums from two other people before the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case.
The MLA, they said, appeared before the IO on January 5 and furnished the bonds as directed by the Court. The I-T probe found that the MLA was allegedly indulging in large-scale evasion through his educational trusts and a medical college and a report prepared in this regard said this act was leading to "substantial loss of revenue to the government".
The tax report said that Reddy has been charged under the stringent provisions of the I-T Act, 1961 which entail a rigorous imprisonment of up to seven years along with a fine. The case will now be taken up for regular hearing by the competent court, they said.