Chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday hit out at his predecessor and leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal for “making hue and cry” over his (Virbhadra) income tax returns.
In a statement issued here, Virbhadra Singh claimed that during the past few days, an attempt has been made to pass on “selective and distorted information” about his income tax returns to media to malign his reputation.
“I was pained to note that selective information was being carried to create an impression that there have been certain wrongdoings,” he said while accusing Dhumal of running malicious propaganda against him with a “malafide intention”.
'MEDIA REPORTS BIASED'
He termed the media reports in this regard as biased and politically motivated. “It was surprising that some media people were claiming of having access to classified information not only about his income tax returns but also about the proceedings of the income tax authorities in the matter, which cannot be procured even under RTI,” he said.
Virbhadra Singh maintained that during his political career spanning over five decades, he had maintained an impeccable integrity “despite several attempts by his detractors to tarnish his image”.
Expressing faith in judiciary, the chief minister said that each time he had come out clean after facing court trial and this time too he would get a clean chit from the court.
“However, it was unfair and unjust to pass a judgment in the case pending in Delhi high court even before the court has given its pronouncement”, he added.
Virbhadra Singh said that the Delhi high court order, dated August 6, makes no mention of the alleged remarks of the sdditional solicitor general (ASG), which were being reported in the media.
In this context, the media reports had cited that the ASG had submitted in the court that there is enough evidence to register a money-laundering case against Virbhadra.
The chief minister further said that since the matter was subjudice and pending in the court, it would not be appropriate for him to discuss the details of the case.
However, he said that as the matter was being reported by the media, he sought to clarify certain facts to set the record right.
Virbhadra Singh said that the issue pertaining to agriculture income of Shrikhand Orchard was pending before the income tax authorities. The income tax officer, while assessing the matter for the year 2009-10, had made a detailed enquiry into the matter. “Thereafter, an order was passed by the assessing authority and the income declared, including agricultural income, was accepted as reflected in the revised return,” he added.
He further said that the matter pertaining to income tax returns for 2008-09 and 2010-11 is still pending for adjudication/assessment before the income tax authorities.
The cases pertaining to revised returns, he said, are being thoroughly investigated by the income tax authorities. In some cases, the income declared in the revised return has been accepted and in some cases it has been accepted partly.
“There is no denial from income tax authorities till date that Anand Chauhan who was managing Shrikhand Orchard had not sold agriculture produce on my behalf. Wherever, any action has been taken by the income tax authorities by invoking Section 263 of the Income Tax Act, 1962, the same has been challenged before the appropriate authorities. Hence, the matter is subjudice,” the chief minister claimed.