'Legal malice, perversity' in IT commission order: Singhvi'

Caught in a controversy over the alleged evasion of income tax, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi on Tuesday said that a Settlement Commission order in the matter suffers from "legal malice and perversity".

New Delhi: Caught in a controversy over the alleged evasion of income tax, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi on Tuesday said that a Settlement Commission order in the matter suffers from "legal malice and perversity".

"The application of assessee was turned on its head by the Settlement Commission," a statement from Singhvi's office said while noting that he had suo motu approached the Commission due to destruction of records.

According to reports, the Settlement Commission added over Rs 91.95 crore to Singhvi's declared professional income over a three-year period and slapped a penalty of Rs 56.67 crore. The order has since been stayed. Singhvi had moved the Commission on his own but a probe was launched subsequently.

After being unable to furnish documentary proof to back his expense claims, Singhvi had told the Commission that a termite attack on the premises of his chartered accountant in December, 2012, had destroyed all records and expense vouchers and documents, the reports said.

According to the statement, the Commission's order argues that since records are absent, they will subject 90 per cent of the income to taxation and also levy a penalty on the whole.

Claiming that for decades, Singhvi has been among the top taxpayers in his category in the country, the statement said, "The very operation of the order of the Commission has been stayed by High Court. Thus, in law, no order exists and none is operative."

Congress spokesperson Singhvi is a senior Supreme Court advocate.

"Various 'friends' of the assessee, in politics and the profession, are raking this up after two months to create a public space for private statutory confidential proceedings which started in 2013.

"No sub-judice matter should be discussed in this manner on the basis of an order the very operation of which has been judicially stayed," the statement added.

Insisting that the order suffers from legal malice and perversity, the statement said the basis of penalty is a prejudicial statement by a person who is not allowed to be cross examined by the assessee.