Shimla/August 13 (NG News)
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday denounced the media reports appearing in a section of the press regarding his Income Tax returns and termed these reports as false, frivolous and fabricated.
Singh said that during the last few days, an attempt has been made to pass on selective and distorted information about his Income Tax returns to the media to malign his reputation. He said that he was pained to note that “selective” information was being carried to create an impression that there have been certain wrong-doings.
“Unnecessary hue and cry is being made against my IT returns and malicious propaganda has been launched against him with a malafide intention by former chief minister P K Dhumal, his sons and vested interests. The news reports that have appeared were biased, politically motivated and with an ulterior objective of spreading misinformation and misleading the people at large. It is surprising that some media people were claiming of having access to classified information not only about his income tax returns but also about the proceedings of the income tax authorities in the matter which cannot be procured even under the RTI,” the Chief Minister said.
Singh said that in his political career spanning over five decades, he had maintained impeccable integrity despite several attempts by his detractors to tarnish his image. He said that each time he had come out clean after facing court trial and this time too he would get a clean chit from the courts.
He said that he has full faith in the judiciary and its independence and would honour the court verdict. However, it was unfair and unjust to pass a judgment in the case pending in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court even before the court has given its pronouncement, he added. He said that the Delhi High Court order dated August 6, makes no mention of the alleged remarks of the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) which were being reported in the media and being referred to by his political opponents.
Chief Minister said that since the matter was sub-judice and pending in court, it would not be appropriate for him to discuss the details of the case. However, in wake of the fact that the matter being reported by the media, he would like to clarify certain facts to set the record right.
Singh said that the issue pertaining to agriculture income of Shrikhand Orchard was pending before the income tax authorities. The Income Tax Officer while assessing the matter for the year 2009-10 had made a detailed enquiry into the matter. Thereafter, an order was passed by the assessing authority and income declared including agricultural income was accepted as reflected in revised return.
“Whereas the matter pertaining to the other years 2008-09 and 2010-11 are still pending for adjudication/assessment before the Income Tax Authorities,” he said.
He said that the case of Anand Chauhan, pertaining to the assessment year 2011-12, who was managing the Shrikhand Orchard has been finalised on March 25, 2014. The agriculture income received on my behalf has been accepted partly by the Ld Assessing Officer and the order has been challenged by Anand Chauhan before CIT Appeals Shimla and the matter is sub-judice.
Singh said that the cases pertaining to revised return are being thoroughly investigated by the Income Tax authorities. In some cases, income declared in revised return has been accepted and in some cases it has been accepted partly. There is no denial from Income Tax Authorities till date that Anand Chauhan who was managing Shrikhand Orchard had not sold agriculture produce on my behalf. Wherever, any action has been taken by the Income Tax Authorities by invoking Section 263 of Income Tax Act, 1962, the same has been challenged before the appropriate authorities, hence the matter is sub-judice.
He said that it was very unfortunate that the BJP did not allow the proceedings of the Vidhan Sabha to be conducted during the monsoon session and deliberately disrupted the House. It is a matter of common parliamentary knowledge that matters pending before the Courts cannot be discussed and deliberated in the House. Still the opposition BJP pressed for discussion on a sub-judice matter and stalled the proceedings of the House.