Expressing strong disapproval of the quiet burial given to cases of huge income tax demands against Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi, the Supreme Court on Monday sought to know how a tribunal "hurriedly" dismissed the cases and how a law officer of the Centre opined that no appeal should be filed in these cases.
A three-judge Bench comprising Justice S N Variava, Justice AR Lakshmanan and Justice S H Kapadia sought to know how the Special Bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in Patna decided in favour of Yadav and his wife within 10 days of the government assuming reins at the Centre.
The order came on a plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament Sushil Kumar Modi and Janata Dal (United) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh, who alleged that Yadav manipulated the system and interfered with the course of justice in the fodder scam cases, disproportionate assets cases and the IT cases pending against him and Rabri Devi.
Surprised by the volume of cases decided by a special bench of the ITAT, the Bench asked Solicitor General G E Vahanvati to give details of the orders passed by the ITAT between June 21 and July 2 last year, including the 136-page judgement in the case of Yadav and his wife.
On ITAT accepting voluntary returns filed by Yadav, the Bench asked as to how such a return could be treated as "full and final" disclosure of his income between the assessment years 1986-1996.
It also asked the Central Board for Direct Taxes what it done had for the assessment years after 1996-97.