A Ludhiana court on Friday deferred the decision on whether or not to summon Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh in connection with a complaint filed against him by the income tax department to April 24.
The prosecution complaint — the department’s equivalent of a police chargesheet — was filed last year under I-T Act section 277 (false statement in verification) and Indian Penal Code sections 176 (omission to give notice or information to public servant), 177 (furnishing false information), 193 (false evidence) and 199 (false statement made in declaration which is by law receivable as evidence).
During the previous hearing on March 27, heated arguments were witnessed in court on whether or not the CM should be summoned to appear in the case when arguments on framing of charges will be heard.
Coincidentally, the next hearing of two similar complaints against Captain’s son Raninder Singh filed separately by the tax department is also on April 24 in the same court.
The department claims its investigations have found Amarinder “to be the beneficiary” of a trust and other properties owned and created by his son in a foreign territory and that, when questioned about these, Amarinder gave a “false statement on oath” about the ownership of these assets. It has accused Amarinder of being “actively involved” in the creation of these “undisclosed” trusts and assets.
The probe further said Raninder is a direct beneficiary of assets maintained and controlled through foreign business entities. These include accounts with HSBC Private Bank, Geneva (Switzerland). Raninder is also a trustee of the UK-based Jacaranda Trust, states the complaint.
The complaint states 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 with 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.