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Taxmen probe Jagat's I-T returns

Authorities will also probe customs duty evasion, if any, against Natwar's son.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2006 20:41 IST

A day after the tabling of the Pathak Authority Report and the ATR on it in Parliament, authorities have swung into action to look into Income Tax and customs duty evasion against Natwar Singh's son Jagat and his associates Andaleeb Sehgal and Aditya Khanna on the $1,93,000 commission by their companies in the Iraqi oil contracts.

Finance Ministry officials said that as mentioned in the Action Taken Report, the Central Board of Direct Taxes and Central Board of Excise and Customs have been asked to examine these aspects.

Taxmen would find out if there was any Income Tax evasion on commission on contracts secured by Andaleeb Sehgal, Jagat's relative and friend Aditya Khanna during the Saddam Hussein regime under the UN Oil-for-Food Programme in 2001, officials said.

Even if income earned was through illegal means, the beneficiaries would have to pay Income tax, the officials said adding the investigation was simple. All that the taxmen would have to do is to go through their income tax returns and find out whether they had evaded tax on this count, they said.

If they have, then they could be prosecuted apart from being asked to pay penal interests, as tax evasion is a criminal offence, the officials said.

They would also examine if there were customs duty violations in the export contracts.

On investigations by Enforcement Directorate, the officials said it could pertain mainly to FEMA violations. As FEMA was shorn of draconian provisions of FERA, at best there could be only fines imposed in case of violations by them, the officials said.

In the Action Taken Report (ATR), the Government had said that it had accepted all conclusions reached by the Inquiry Authority and has decided to forward it to the Enforcement Directorate and Central Boards Direct Taxes and Excise and Customs for such action as may appear to them warranted under law.