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I-T finds tax evasion in 2G; status report in SC today


The Income Tax department has found instances of alleged tax evasion and "multiple routing" of undeclared wealth in the 2G spectrum allocation scam and will file its first status report on the probe in the case in the Supreme Court on Thursday.


The department, according to officials, has reportedly traced instances of tax evasion by various Telecom firms that have been named by the CBI and the ED in their charge sheets.


The role of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia would also be mentioned in the report, they said.


"Various benami entities have been found to have received funds and carried out their multiple routing. These funds were never shown on account books," an I-T official said.


The report, which will be placed in a sealed cover before the apex court, has been prepared after collecting information and carrying out investigation of accounts, banking records and sources of funding of these firms.


The I-T department, according to the officials, have relied heavily on the its intelligence gathering tools, which keep the records of individual taxpayers and corporate firms, to prepare the status report, which was to be filed on 3rd May.


The department did not conduct full-fledged and independent searches under the provisions of the Income Tax Act in the case which relates to the allocation of the new Unified Access Services (UAS) licenses and subsequent allocation of the 2G spectrum.


Sources said the I-T probe went into charges of alleged bribing and possession of disproportionate assets against some of the operators who were awarded licenses under the 2G spectrum deal.


The department had gone into the angle of tax evasion in the entire process of allotment of the 2G spectrum through under-stating profits and escalating losses to allegedly facilitate bribes and kickbacks.


The status report has been prepared after a special cell was created in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which probed the entire case with the involvement of the investigation, intelligence and various tax collection units of the department.


The I-T department had tapped the phone lines of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia during 2008-09.


The government had earlier filed an affidavit in the apex court saying that Radia's conversations were recorded as part of surveillance ordered by the Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) following a complaint received by the Finance Minister on 16th November, 2007 alleging that she had within a short span of nine years built up a business empire worth Rs 300 crore.


The I-T department, in its earlier affidavit to the apex Court, had said that following this order, the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) wrote to Intelligence Bureau on 16th November, 2009 saying some of the intercepted conversations of Radia were "quite sensitive".


The same day, the CBI too wrote to the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) saying "certain middle men, including one Niira Radia of Neosis Consultancy, were actively involved," and requested the I-T department to share with it Radia's recorded conversations.


In the same case, the Enforcement Directorate had recently told the apex court that properties worth Rs 2,000 crore each of two telecom firms will be attached soon while the court had also directed the I-T department to provide a transcript of tapped conversations of Radia with corporate honchos, politicians and bureaucrats to CBI and ED which are probing the 2G scam case.



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