The case against Pune-based stud farm owner Hasan Ali, who allegedly evaded taxes to the tune of Rs 74,000 crore, may be crumbling. A sessions court on Monday stayed Ali’s trial, which was pending before a magistrate’s court.
The stayed came after Ali moved the court against the magistrate court’s order to frame charges against him. Ali’s primary contention was that ever since the Income Tax department filed seven separate complaints for tax evasion, he has not been provided with, or allowed to inspect, any original documents on the basis of which the cases were filed.
In his petition, Ali said he had moved an application asking the magistrate court to direct the I-T department to provide the original papers. He alleged that though the magistrate court had in August 2014 asked the department to produce the original papers in 15 days, it had failed to do so.
Ali said that though he had not been given the original papers, the magistrate court had passed an order to frame charges against him, and to begin the trial in April.
Ali has also said that as there were no original documents on record, he ought to have been discharged. He alleged that the trial court failed to properly interpret a provision regarding the ‘willful non-filing of I-T returns’.
“After hearing the preliminary contentions, the sessions court has admitted the revision petition filed by Ali against the Income-Tax department and stayed the trial against Ali till further orders,” said his lawyer, Ranjeet Sangle. “Ali was made a scapegoat and the truth will be revealed soon,” he added.
The Income Tax department had conducted a raid against Ali in January 2007. Their searched revealed that Ali had obtained a Permanent Account Number (PAN) only in 2005, and had not paid tax from 2001 to 2007.
After an investigation, the I-T department said Ali owed it Rs 70,000 crores in taxes, a figure which was later revised to Rs 74,000 crore. It filed seven complaints – one for each year he allegedly evaded tax – before the magistrate court in 2009.