Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s much-hyped ‘adhikar rally’ in Patna on November 4 last year has figured on the income tax department’s radar.
The TDS (tax deduction at source) section of the department served notice on Nitish’s party, the ruling JD (U), seeking details of the rally expenditure and of payments made to the contractors who facilitated the function.
The notice was sent by I-T deputy commissioner (TDS) Ajay Jadeja under section 194 (C) of the I-T Act, 1962, on December 19 last year but has come to light only now.
Through the notice, the I-T authorities have sought information about the money spent on posters, banners, flags, hoardings, transportation, catering and on temporary shelters erected for the lakhs who attended it.
The rally had been organized to focus greater attention on the JD (U) demand that the center grant special category state status to Bihar to expedite its growth.
“Under the I-T Act, tax deduction at source is mandatory while making contractual payments. But we had no information whether this was done or not. We need to know the source of funds and whether the government got its share of tax,” said an income tax source.
He claimed when no reply came from the JD-U on the notice, one of its prominent members dealing with the party finances was called to the IT department on Wednesday.
“The party official said that the information needed to reply to the notice has been sought from JD-U's New Delhi office. He told us that it is expected to arrive by January 15, after which they will share it with us,” said the source.
The IT department has collected photographs and video footage of the rally and the arrangements made for it. Once the expenditure details are provided by the party, the contractors who offered various services would also be questioned.