HP High Court stays transfer of CM's IT returns case to Chandigarh

Shimla/August 4 (NG News)
The High Court of Himachal Pradesh on Monday stayed an order of the Income Tax Commissioner, Shimla to transfer the cases relating to investigations into the income tax returns of the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his family members to Chandigarh.

A Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed these orders… on the petitions filed by Virbhadra Singh and his family members. Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, son Vikramaditya Singh, daughter Aparajita Kumari, Anand Chauhan (Caretaker of Virbhadra Singh’s orchards), Chunni Lal Chauhan (Proprietor of M/s Universal Apples) 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 have stated that the coordinated and joint investigation of all cases can be done in Shimla also and there is no need to transfer the cases to Chandigarh as this will only result in harassment to them.

The Income Tax Commissioner in his orders had said that the agricultural income had dramatically increased in the revised return, which is an apparent attempt to justify the investments made in the purchase of insurance policies and the assesses had close relations and business dealings amongst themselves and Vakamulla Chandrashekhar and M/s Tarini Infrastructure Limited, which require coordinated and joint investigations in all cases.

He had transferred all the cases to Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Central Circle, Chandigarh saying that centralization of cases will enable department to conduct focused, synchronized and coordinated investigation.

The Court directed the Income Tax Commissioner to file reply within 4 weeks and posted the matter for September 16.