I-T dept seeks criminal action against CM

I-T dept seeks criminal action against CM

The Income Tax department has moved Election Commission seeking criminal action against Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and his Cabinet colleagues for picketing outside its office on March 28, intensifying the ongoing feud with the ruling coalition in Karnataka. 

In the complaint, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax and Director General of Income Tax (Investigation), B R Balakrishnan, has sought action against the leaders involved in the protest under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for unlawful assembly, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, criminal intimidation, obstructing public servant from discharging his duties and others.

“This has been forwarded to the Director General & Inspector General of Police for necessary action,” Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said.

Kumaraswamy and other ministers of the coalition had staged a protest in front of the Department’s Queens’ Road office, alleging “selective raids” on supporters of JD(S) and Congress ahead of elections. The raids were conducted in multiple locations in Mandya, Hassan, Mysuru and Shivamogga.

Balakrishnan had written two letters to EC, one on March 30 and the second on April 5 regarding the protest. While the first letter sought adequate security for search teams and possible probe by an independent agency into the issue, the second sought criminal action against politicians who protested in front of the I-T office.

The complaint alleged that the department had seized documents which prima facie depict withdrawals of large amounts of cash from state treasury and condemned the statements of Kumaraswamy, who revealed the raids, as a demonstration of mala-fide intent of the chief minister.

The persons named above not only threatened the personnel of the Department, particularly those who are involved in the on-going search proceedings, “but also have intentionally insulted the personnel of the Department with an intent to provoke breach of peace so as to scuttle the search proceedings,” the complaint added.

BJP meets Guv

Meanwhile, the BJP approached Governor Vajubhai R Vala with a complaint that Kumaraswamy had ‘breached’ his oath to maintain official secrets by preempting I-T raids in the state.

“It is likely that the chief minister had information regarding further/future searches from the intelligence machinery and the police department of the state, as the Income Tax department may have sought the assistance of the state police in its investigations,” the BJP stated.