Chief judicial magistrate Ranjeev Kumar in Ludhiana on Saturday issued notice to Raninder Singh, the son of Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh, for lying to the income tax department about his foreign bank accounts.
Acting on a criminal complaint by Amit Dua, income tax deputy director, investigation, against Raninder for giving false information under oath, the court asked him to file a reply on July 26, the next date of hearing.
The income tax department has found that the former chief minister’s son is a direct beneficiary of assets maintained and controlled through foreign business entities. These include accounts with HSBC Private Bank, Geneva. Raninder is also a trustee of the UK-based Jacaranda Trust.
When the department confronted Raninder with this information last year, he denied having any foreign bank accounts.
This led the department to file the complaint under Sections 181 (false statement on oath) and 177 (furnishing false information) under the Indian Penal Code and Section 277 (false statement in verification) of the Income Tax Act on Saturday.
Capt Amarinder Singh was not available for comment but his media adviser Vimal Sumbly said, “We are yet to receive a copy of the court notice or the complaint and will issue a formal statement in this regard tomorrow (on Sunday).”
I-T ON THE TRAIL
Advocate Mohinder Nain said the income tax department found that Raninder was the settler (donor) of the Jacaranda Trust, UK, and the owner of business entities Mulwala Holdings Limited, Limerlock International Limited, Chillingham Holdings Limited and Allworth Venture Holdings Limited. The authorities in British Virgin Islands (BVI) informed the department that the business entities were holding substantial financial assets, including bank accounts in HSBC, Geneva, and properties in the UK and Dubai.
The BVI authorities provided the IT department a copy of the trust deed which showed that the settlement was made on July 22, 2005, in British Virgin Islands between Raninder and HSBC Trust Company (BVI) Limited. Raninder acted as a trustee of the trust.
Income tax principal director, investigation, Parneet Singh Sachdev had approved action against Raninder on March 16 after which the complaint was filed in the court on Saturday.