Taxman bites Singhvi after leader says termites destroyed documents

The Income Tax department has slapped a penalty of Rs.57 crore on Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi after he was unable to furnish documentary proof to back his claim of expenses

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New Delhi, Nov 15: The Income Tax department has slapped a penalty of Rs.57 crore on Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi after he was unable to furnish documentary proof to back his claim of expenses.

The department has rejected Singhvi's claim that a termite attack on the premises of his chartered accountant destroyed all records, said reports.

The department has also raised doubts over the advocate's claim that he purchased laptops worth Rs 5 crore for his staff, which entitled him to 30 per cent depreciation.

Singhvi tax

The Income Tax department and the Commission, had earlier, added a sum over his declared professional income of Rs. 91.95 crore over three years between 2010-11 to 2012-13 and slapped a penalty. The order was then stayed by the Rajasthan Court, said reports.

The commission has also contended Singhvi's claim that he spent Rs 35.98 crore on purchase of solar panels for his company, Rishab Enterprises.

According to reports, the Jodhpur Income Tax Commissioner also came across cash ranging between Rs.7 crore to Rs. 32 crore in Singhvi's account. The Congress leader said that it was meant to pay fees of his legal assitants.

Singhvi has reportedly alleged that he was being trapped in a "cat and mouse game" and argued that the Commission did not have the jurisdiction to impose penalty on him.

Singhvi however defended himself and Times Now quoted him saying that he had got a stay on the commission's order from the Rajasthan High Court.I have been the highest or second highest tax payer in this profession, he said.

Speaking with the Indian Express, he said that he had gone to the settlement commission suo motu before any survey or investigation started since he could back his claim due to destruction of records and the loss of which he had reported to the police before the IT probe ever began.

Amit Bhandari, an authorized representative of Singhvi said in a statement that the very operation of the settlement commission being bandied around, has been stayed by the high court. Hence in law, no order exists and none is operative, he also said.

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