Election Commissioner Lavasa's wife under I-T scanner

Election Commissioner Lavasa's wife under I-T scanner

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa. (File Photo)

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa's wife Novel Singhal Lavasa has come under the scanner of the Income Tax Department on charges of alleged tax evasion, official sources said on Monday.

Lavasa's wife has been issued a notice by the department to explain certain details in her I-T Returns (ITR) with regard to holding directorship in about 10 companies, they said.

The officials said after a preliminary investigation, the tax department has asked her to provide more documents related to her personal finances.

Novel Lavasa issued a statement late night stating she has paid all due taxes on her income. 

"There have been reports in certain sections of the media about income tax notices (issued to me) regarding discrepancies in tax returns filed by me.

"It is stated that I have paid all taxes due towards me and disclosed all income earned by me from a pension, and all other sources as per Income Tax law," she said. 

It is clarified, she added, that has served as a class I officer with State Bank of India for 28 years and has acquired vast experience in banking and development, "I continue to be engaged in various professional activities, including as independent director in a few companies".

"I have replied to all I-T notices received since August 5, 2019, and have been cooperating with the ongoing process of the department," she said. 

The department is looking at the ITRs of Novel Singhal Lavasa to ascertain if her income has escaped assessment in the past or something has been concealed from tax authorities, the official sources said.

The probe into alleged tax evasion and holding of a directorship in multiple firms against the former banker pertains to a time period between 2015 and 2017, they said.

Ashok Lavasa was appointed election commissioner on January 23, 2018, after he retired as the Union Finance Secretary the previous year.

His difference of opinion, with regard to the implementation of the model code of conduct (MCC), with Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, was reported during the recently-concluded parliamentary election. 

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