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I-T dept seizes Rs 27.72 cr from poll-bound states

Last updated on: April 21, 2011 10:40 IST

I-T dept seizes Rs 27.72 cr from poll-bound states

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Probal Basak in Kolkata

In the run-up to the Assembly elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Assam and West Bengal, the Income Tax Department has till now seized a total of Rs 27.72 crore (Rs 277 million) 'unaccounted money' in cash from the poll-bound areas.

"The money is seized when the person concerned fails to furnish any evidence of it being part of the disclosed money.

So, prima facie this is undisclosed or unaccounted money," said Anjani Kumar who has been designated as nodal officer to monitor cash movement in the Assembly elections.

The Income Tax department has seized Rs 17.19 crore (Rs 172 million) from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Rs 8.99 crore (Rs 90 million) in West Bengal and Assam, and Rs 1.54 crore (Rs 15 million) in Kerala.

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I-T dept seizes Rs 27.72 cr from poll-bound states

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As per the directive from the Election Commission (EC), the investigation wing of Income Tax (I-T) Department is keeping a vigil on the cash movement since March 1, the day EC issued the press note regarding Assembly polls.

The I-T department has been carrying out this monitoring function in accordance with its own income tax acts.

"The monitoring process is still on. We started this the day EC issued the press note on election and will continue with this monitoring work till the last date of polling," Kumar said adding that "generally the investigation team of the I-T department has the objective of high-end revenue, but this objective gets changed during election.

Even if there is cash movement of small amount like Rs 500,000 for which the concerned person has no proper explanation, we are seizing that."

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I-T dept seizes Rs 27.72 cr from poll-bound states

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The I-T department will carry out further investigation on the seized amount before taking a final call on this.

"At present, the seized money is deposited with us. We will verify the matter and then our investigation team will prepare a report on this.

According to the report it will be decided whether this money is to be released or whether there is any tax demand," he said.

Earlier, it was the EC only which used to keep a tab on cash movement in the states during the election time through its expenditure-monitoring wing.

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I-T dept seizes Rs 27.72 cr from poll-bound states

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But since Bihar assembly election last year, the EC had asked the I-T department also to work for it during the election period.

Some of the senior I-T officials have been put on monitoring duty with almost each district of the poll-bound states having a deputy commissioner of income tax.

The investigation team is keeping an eye on the banks, airports, railway stations and all places where there are chances of any illegal transactions.

"Normally we don't keep our officials in all the districts, we do not have that much strength. But special arrangements have been made for all these states," said Kumar.



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