Just days ahead of the Rajasthan election, Robert Vadra is once again back in the picture. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has asked the Income Tax Settlement Commission to share the details of a report which could mean more trouble for Vadra. The ED has also summoned Robert Vadra to explain his connection in a Bikaner land deal case. Sources say Vadra is yet to respond.
The 177-page report of Settlement Commission, in a case related to Bhushan Power and Steel Limited (BPSL), reads that the commission not only reduced the quantum of income addition for BPSL to Rs 317 crore which eventually gave relief on the income of around Rs 500 crore but also granted immunity from prosecution and penalty.
According to the report, in 2011-12, BPSL gave a loan of Rs 5.64 crore to Allegeny Finlease Pvt Ltd which used the money to buy land in Bikaner from Sky Light Hospitality — a company linked to Robert Vadra.
According to the details available, BPCL had approached the Settlement Commission on December 12, 2011, after the IT department had sent show-cause notice to make income additions for assessment years 2004-05 to 2011-12 on various accounts that aggregated to over Rs 800 crore.
Settlement Commission had then issued a draft order in mid-June 2013 and denied immunity prosecution and imposed a penalty under the IT Act.
But just a few days after, in a new order on June 30, 2013, the commission overturned its previous order and said, “the applicant’s prayer for immunity from prosecution and imposition of various penalties under various provisions of Income tax should not be considered favourably. We are not inclined to agree on this point…considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the co-operation extended to the Commission during the hearing, immunity is granted from prosecution and penalty imposable under various sections of the Income Tax Act.”
The new order also said that the addition of share capital of Rs 412 crore to the income of applicant company which was earlier suggested as ‘unaccounted income of the applicant company itself’ was overturned and was changed that the applicant company cannot be added in the hands of the applicant.
The order copy reads that “In the draft order, our learned brother has discussed the issue relating to the addition of share capital of Rs 412.69 crores. However, we are not inclined to agree with him on this issue as the findings are not based on the correct appreciation of facts and are not borne out from the records… It appears that our learned brother has accepted in toto the report filed by CIT (central), Gurgaon on the 13th June 2013, which was the last date of hearing. As this report dated 12th June 2013 was submitted on the very last date of hearing the facts narrated there could not be verified/rebutted either by the Commission or the applicant.”