IT demand on Hassan Ali Khan raised to Rs 60,000 crore

The IT department, which earlier had raised a total tax demand of Rs 71,845 crore on Khan and his associates, has now included a 24 per cent penalty on this amount as the assessment on them was made in 2008, according to department sources today.

Investigators probing alleged money laundering and tax evasion charges against the Pune-based stud farm owner meanwhile are mulling to send fresh Letter Rogatories to Switzerland.

Sources said the multi-disciplinary team of officials from I-T, ED, Economic Offences Wing of Maharashtra Police and RBI are now planning to obtain fresh LR's from a Mumbai court as they have now charged Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

"The last LR obtained by the enforcement agencies from a Mumbai court remained unhelpful as the Swiss authorities said that the charges against Khan do not pertain to criminal offences. No information on his Swiss accounts and transactions was hence obtained by them," top sources involved in the probe said.

The new LR's citing money laundering charges could help elicit additional information from Swiss authorities, they said.

According to the I-T Act, a penalty of 12 per cent is imposed each year on unyielded taxes.

The department has raised a tax of Rs 50,329 crore against Khan, Rs 49 crore against his wife Rheema Hassan Ali Khan, Rs 591 crore against his associate Kashi Nath Tapuriah, RS 20,540 crore against Tapuriah's wife Chandrika and a Rs 336 crore against a business firm related to Khan-- R M Investment and Trading Company Private Limited.

The investigators are also pinning their hopes on the only "substantial" transaction of Khan which they have received "full information"-- to take their case forward.

The transaction involves alleged transfer of USD 700,000 from the Bank of Sarasin to Citibank in New York from which it was moved to Barclays in the UK.

"This is a ray of hope for us in the entire case as proof in other cases of transactions is still not complete," they said.

The joint probe team, with its base in Mumbai, is also scrutinising classified information received by the foreign taxation wing of the CBDT on Khan's transactions from the US and the UK.

The wing has received exhaustive details on the alleged investments made by Khan to the tune of crores of rupees under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with both the nations.

The agencies are also looking for Khan's properties abroad to attach them for penal proceedings as he reportedly does not have much properties in India.

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