‘Bribe to JMM to save Rao govt tax-free’
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 00:46
New Delhi: An income tax appellate tribunal has upheld the contention of four former Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MPs that they are not liable to pay tax or penalty on money they received for voting in favour of the PV Narsimha Rao government in 1993.

The four former MPs -- Shibu Soren, Suraj Mandal, Simon Marandi and Shailendra Mahto -- had approached the IT Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) Delhi bench against the order of appellate commissioner of Income Tax on the assessment order of 1997 passed by assessment officer that they were liable to pay tax on the money they received.

R P Tolani, Judicial Member and A K Garodia, Accountant Member of the ITAT, have in 37 -page order allowed the appeal of the former MPs and the party against the block assessment order of the assessment officer in 1997 under which they were liable to pay tax and penalty.

The former MPs had during the trial in the case under Prevention of Corruption Act had admitted that they had received money from the Congress party for their support to the confidence motion.

However, they were acquitted of the charge of accepting bribe after a Supreme Court verdict which held that the MPs' action enjoyed immunity under Article 105 of the Constitution.

The tribunal said "...We have held that no addition is justified in the present case, either in respect of deposits in various bank accounts with PNB Noroji Nagar, New Delhi or various other additions made by the A.O., which are not relatable to any evidence found in course of search.

"We are of the considered opinion that no adjudication is called for regarding various other contentions raised by the learned advocate regarding non existence of search, or non validity of search for the reason that there is no panchnama or that there is no notice issued by the A.O. u/s 143(2) after filing of block return etc."

The ITAT order said that "We do not decide these aspects because now these aspects are of academic interest only once it is held by us that no addition made by the A.O. in the present cases is sustainable. We, therefore, do not decide these aspects. In the result, all these four appeals filed by these four individual assesses are allowed in the terms indicated above."

The tribunal allowed a similar relief to the JMM on an appeal.


First Published: Monday, September 12, 2011, 23:29

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