Lokayukta police face I-T hurdle

Lokayukta police face I-T hurdle

Dept yet to furnish details on returns filed by Balakrishna despite pleas

Eight months into the investigation on allegations of disproportionate assets against Balakrishna Gowda, the eldest son of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, the Lokayukta police have hit a wall due to inordinate delay on the part of the Income Tax Department to furnish tax details.

Balakrishna Gowda, a former KAS officer, is being investigated for possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, based on a private complaint filed by S N Balakrishna.

The probe has come to a standstill as the I-T Department is yet to make available details of the tax filings of Balakrishna Gowda, his family and companies associated with him. After an FIR was registered, raids were conducted on Banashankari Enterprises, Shakambhari Enterprises, Rajarajeshwari Polymers, Kunal Enterprises and Jnana Sweekar Public School.

According to sources in the Lokayukta, a letter was sent to the I-T Department in the first week of November 2011 seeking details of the income declared, tax filings and information pertaining to Balakrishna Gowda, his family and these companies. The department, however, parted with a shred of information, with which the investigators were unable to arrive at a conclusion. Nine reminders sent to the department from January to the last week of April this year drew a blank.

While the Lokayukta Court sought information from the police on the status of the investigation on a regular basis, investigating officer Prasanna V Raju repeatedly submitted to the court that the I-T Department had not been forthcoming in furnishing information that was requested for.

He had submitted that it was not possible to calculate the value of the disproportionate assets and conduct a comprehensive investigation without getting all the details about the income declared and the tax that has been paid.

On April 25, the court summoned Income Tax Commissioner-4, Sreedhar D C, who initially insisted the department had given all the information that was sought, but later sought 15 days’ time to provide all the details. The court also directed the department to furnish the details of income earned and the tax paid from 1984 when Balakrishna Gowda joined KAS. None of this information has been forthcoming.

What they did furnish was video grabs of the I-T returns of Balakrishna Gowda for a mere six years, claiming that the department kept records of filings of only the past six years.
On the other hand, the department furnished information for the previous 12 years with regard to Rajarajeshwari Polymers, but only the income that was declared by the company and not the tax paid on it.

Details of income and tax paid by the family, wealth tax and other details related to the PAN have still not been made  available to the Lokayukta police.

When details were sought pertaining to the wealth tax of Balakrishna Gowda, the department asked the police to send a fresh letter. “They say they keep data only for the last six years, and yet furnished the data of 12 years for a company. How can this be possible? For other accused in other cases, we give a PAN, and they furnish all the details. In this case, they seem to be coming up with a new excuse every time,” a source in the Lokayukta said.

If an agency like the CBI seeks similar information, it is furnished in a week’s time. However, that is not the case with the state investigating agencies and the pressure is on the police to complete the investigations as cases referred  by the court are taken up on a priority basis.

Lokayukta SP Shivashankar P K said there had been a delay in furnishing information by the I-T Department.

“Since the court has directed them, the wealth tax details will be sent to us soon,” he said.

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