IT dept files chargesheets against chopper scam accused

Last Updated 11 June 2019, 11:45 IST

The Income-Tax Department has filed four fresh charge sheets against lawyer Gautam Khaitan, an accused in the multi-crore VVIP chopper deal scam, on charges of tax evasion and possession of undisclosed bank accounts in Singapore, official sources said Tuesday.

They said four supplementary chargesheets or prosecution complaints were filed before a special court here last week against Khaitan for offences under section 276C (1) (willful attempt to evade tax) and 277 (giving false statement on oath) of the I-T Act.

The department filed at least nine chargesheets against him in 2018 and the year before on similar charges of possessing undisclosed foreign assets and non-disclosure of all assets and income to tax authorities in India.

The sources said the latest development comes after the taxman obtained "fresh evidence" that Khaitan was maintaining three bank accounts in his "own" name in Singapore.

The four chargesheets pertain to financial years of 2009-10 to 2012-13, they said.

They claimed that Khaitan had not disclosed the ownership of these bank accounts before the tax authorities and that there were "substantial credit entries" or financial transactions in these bank accounts.

The department, few months back, had also recorded his statement in the Tihar Jail as he was under arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

A total of 13 chargesheets have now been filed by the tax department against Khaitan.

Last year, five such complaints were filed against him and his wife Ritu Khaitan under the anti-black money law for possessing alleged undisclosed assets abroad while in 2017 four chargesheets were filed against him for allegedly "maintaining four bank accounts in Singapore in the name of British Virgin Islands-based shell companies as well as his own name."

The ED, which is probing the role of the Delhi-based lawyer in two money laundering cases, including in the high-profile VVIP choppers case, has said he has been a beneficiary of Rs 850 crore slush funds generated out of defence deals.

It had arrested Khaitan in cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

(Published 11 June 2019, 11:31 IST)

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