Chahal responds to an unsigned, backdated letter circulating on social media
Geetanjali Minhas | March 25, 2022 | Mumbai
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has denied ever visiting the income tax office, after a “letter” appeared on social media, in which the IT department had purportedly issued summons to him.
The “summons” dated March 3, supposedly issued in connection with proceedings against Standing Committee Chairman, Yashwant Jadhav, and asking Chahal to appear at the Scindia House on March 10 under section 131(1) of IT Act, is stamped and unsigned.
“You are hereby required to attend my office at Scindia House, Mumbai, Maharashtra on 10/03/2022 at 11.30 AM to give evidence and/or to produce either personally or through an authorised representative the books of account or other documents specified below and not to depart until you receive my permission to do so,” says the unsigned letter.
It further says, “Without prejudice the provisions of any other law for the time being in force if you intentionally omit to attend and give evidence or documents, penal action may be initiated as per provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961 for each such default or failure.”
Denying ever having receiving the letter, Chahal said, “The above notice is in circulation. I have not visited the IT office even once. These notices come and get answered at the appropriate lower levels.”
On March 4, after a tweet by a user named Sameet Thakkar, the BMC had filed a police complaint for spreading false information that commissioner Chahal would be probed by the IT department in the case of Standing Committee Chairman Yashwant Jadhav for irregularities.
“This tweet is totally false, malicious and defamatory in nature and maligns the image of Municipal Commissioner, Dr I S Chahal. There is no truth whatsoever in this tweet and it is totally baseless and damages the image of the office of Municipal Commissioner and Shri Chahal is a reputed and highly respected officer,” the BMC said in its complaint to the Azad Maidan police station, requesting exemplary penal action against Thakkar for tweeting without verifying facts.
In a tweet the BMC had said, “The following tweet is false. A complaint is filed against this individual for spreading false news, with malicious intent. No notice has been received for the inquiry against BMC Commissioner by Income Tax Office of India.”
Ahead of the high-stakes BMC elections, the IT recently conducted raids on Shiv Sena leader Yashwant Jadhav, his relatives and civil contractors at 35 different places. As per reports, the department has found unlisted property worth Rs 130 crore and contractors related to Jadhav have not disclosed income of Rs 200 crore. Later, the BJP has accused him of buying 36 buildings worth over Rs 1,000 crore in different areas of Mumbai.
The raids have come close on the heels of the arrest of minority affairs minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money laundering case.
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