16 November 2016

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Prashant Bhushan files complaint to probe Political Payouts to CMs

Prashant Bhushan files complaint to probe Political Payouts to CMs
Hindu reported that Advocate Prashant Bhushan has filed complaint with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) regarding Sets of documents, allegedly recovered during raids by the Income Tax Department and the CBI from the premises of two major industrial houses, detail massive payouts to prominent politicians.
In his complaint filed before the CBDT chairperson on October 25, Mr. Bhushan says, “Important evidence of corruption/bribery of important public functionaries [including Chief Ministers] by the business groups which was gathered in the raid on Sahara group by the Income Tax Department and in the raid on Birla group by the CBI, was not investigated and was brushed under the carpet.”

The complaint alleges that Documents allegedly recovered from the Sahara premises during a raid on November 22, 2014 by the Income Tax Department show payments to several politicians, including some Chief Ministers and MPs from various political parties, running into crores.

Mr. Bhushan said they were signed by an income tax officer, two witnesses and a Sahara employee, and contain details of crores of rupees allegedly paid to several politicians. Some of the documents are excel sheets, while the others are handwritten or plain page printouts. “The log suggests that cash has been apparently transferred to several important public figures, including top political leaders and offices of the Chief Ministers of various States,” the lawyer said.

The persons named in the diary who had apparently received ought to have been raided and investigated for disproportionate assets, but the same was not done. This constitutes a serious lapse on the part of the IT department,” Mr. Bhushan says in his complaint.

During investigation into coal block allocations to Aditya Birla group’s Hindalco Industries, the CBI had conducted simultaneous raids on its premises in New Delhi, Mumbai, Secunderabad and Bhubaneshwar on October 15, 2013.

“The documents seized by the CBI in its search operation in Mumbai reportedly revealed massive bribery of politicians and officials of various ministries by the Aditya Birla group over several years. The simultaneous search operation conducted on 15.10.2013 by the CBI at Aditya Birla group’s office at Parliament Street, New Delhi, reportedly led to the recovery of a huge stash of unaccounted for cash of Rs 25 crore besides incriminating documents,” Mr. Bhushan said in his complaint.

The documents also show a payment of Rs 7.08 crore during January 9, 2012 to February 2, 2012 for “Project J- Environment & Forest.” Mr. Bhushan says this was the time when allegations of corruption had emerged in environment clearances being issued by the UPA government.

From the laptop of Aditya Birla Group Executive President Subhendu Amitabh, the raiding party recovered details of some financial transactions. A particular email of November 16, 2012 reports an alleged payment of Rs 25 crore to an entity referred to as a CM, with Rs 12 crore already delivered, according to the complaint. When Mr. Amitabh was asked about it, the documents suggest he told IT sleuths: “These were purely personal notes” and the initials that denoted the particular political leader’s official position as “CM” of a State was actually meant to represent a State PSU.

In his complaint Prashant Bhushan said that t is learnt that both Sahara group and Birla group have approached the Settlement Commission of Income Tax to settle and bury the whole issue. This must not be allowed to (be) done at any cost since that may allow important evidence of serious corruption of important public functionaries would be buried and those guilty of bribery and corruption would go scot-free,”

Mr. Bhushan told The Hindu that he would soon move the Supreme Court on the issue.

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Tags – Prashant Bhushan IT Raid Sahara Birla Group Bribe CM