Himachal court stays order to transfer CM's income tax case
In a major relief to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his family, the Himachal Pradesh High Court Monday stayed an order of the income tax commissioner of Shimla to transfer their cases relating to investigations into the income tax returns to Chandigarh.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed these orders on the petitions filed by the chief minister and his family members.
Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, son Vikramaditya Singh, daughter Aparajita Kumari and Anand Chauhan, caretaker of the chief minister's orchards, had challenged the orders of the income tax commissioner to transfer their cases on the ground of conducting coordinated and joint investigation in all cases.
They had stated that the coordinated and joint investigation of all cases could be done in Shimla also and there was no need to transfer the cases to Chandigarh as this would only result in harassment to them.
The income tax commissioner, in his orders, said the agricultural income had dramatically increased in the revised return, which was an apparent attempt to justify the investments made in the purchase of insurance policies.
The assesses had close relations and business dealings amongst themselves and with businessman Vakamulla Chandrashekhar and his company Tarini Infrastructure Ltd, which require coordinated and joint investigations in all cases.
He had transferred all the cases to deputy commissioner of income tax of central circle in Chandigarh, saying that centralization of cases would enable department to conduct focused, synchronized and coordinated investigation.
The court directed the income tax commissioner to file reply within four weeks and posted the matter for next hearing Sep 16.
(Posted on 05-08-2014)