Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati might have hit out at the Centre for “targeting” her at the behest of the Samajwadi Party by asking the CBI to take a fresh look into the disproportionate assets case against her, there is more trouble brewing for her.
The Centre is closing in on her in another tax evasion case, again relating to the “gifts” she has been receiving from party supporters and activists. A lawyer for the income-tax department on Friday told the Delhi High Court that Mayawati tried evading tax by showing “sham transactions” in the assessment year 2003-04.
The transactions being talked about involve cash and property worth several crores that the BSP leader received in 2003.
“The gifts shown were bogus. Genuineness and creditworthiness of the donors has not been established,” the lawyer told a bench headed by Justice B.D. Ahmed.
“Assessing officer had clearly shown that purchases as well as gift transactions were sham transactions which had been performed only with the intent to evade payment of tax,” the Centre said in its petition.
The income tax department says Mayawati claimed the gifts to be “donations” given “out of love and affection” by her supporters to seek tax exemption. The income-tax appellate tribunal had on November 30 last given her a clean-chit, upholding her argument. But the I-T Commissioner filed an appeal against the order in the Delhi High Court.
The Centre submitted that the tribunal erred in accepting her contention on the source of her income. The cash and property presented to Mayawati should be taken as part of her annual taxable income.
The court adjourned the matter as Harish Salve, appearing for Mayawati, could not be present as he was abroad.