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CBDT says Yeddy papers of ‘doubtful nature’

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New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) The Central Board of Director Taxes (CBDT) has said that the diary pages and the loose papers given to the team that raided D.K. Shivakumar’s premises in 2017 were “not original” . Shivakumar told the investigators that this was a copy of a diary, written by B.S. Yeddyurappa, and the payments paid on behalf of the leader (B.S. Yeddyurappa) to legislators, and received from various leaders, MLAs, ministers when they were in power, said CBDT.

The CBDT clarification came after a media report titled ‘The Yeddy Diaries’ published by news magazine ‘The Caravan’ alleged that Yeddyurappa paid Rs 1,800 crore to some top BJP leaders, including veterans L.K. Advani, Murli manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari.

The department said that a search action under Section 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 was carried out on Shivakumar and group of cases on August 2, 2017 by the Income Tax Investigation Directorate of Karnataka and Goa. A large evidence of incriminating material against Shivakumar and his company were found.

“During the search, some loose papers were given to the raiding party. This was a xerox copy of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, Legislator’s Diary pages of 2009 with details of numerical entries against some individuals. The original of these documents was never given,” a CBDT statement said.

The statement made no reference to the amounts that were highlighted in ‘The Caravan’ report.

On being asked as to how he got possession of the said loose sheets, the statement said: “Shivakumar stated that, being a politician, he procures information about other parties, leaders and members and as the said loose sheets contain political information, he cannot disclose the source of information.

“Further, Shivakumar also stated that he keeps getting such information from the general public.”

Shivakumar, the statement said, also stated that he did not know the time period in which the said transactions have taken place and that he did not have the originals of the said loose sheets.

In response to the question why the said matter was not brought to the notice of ACB (Anti Corruption Branch) or Lokayukta of Karnataka, Shivakumar stated that as “he did not know about the genuineness of the said loose sheets”, said the statement, adding he did not inform the same to enforcement agencies.

Shivakumar further stated that the handwriting in the loose sheets could be of B.S. Yeddyurappa on the basis of comparison between various documents written by him (B.S. Yeddyurappa) and the handwriting in the loose sheets.

“The seized material and the statements of Shivakumar were confronted with Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa on November 25, 2017. Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa stated that he was not in the habit of writing a dairy and that the loose sheets in question were not in his handwriting. He denied his handwriting and signatures on the loose sheets,” said the statement.

Also, as the handwriting did not belong to Yeddyurappa, he told officials that he cannot have any knowledge about the contents of the loose sheets.

Yeddyurappa further stated that contents of the loose sheets were false and fabricated and his name has been used to malign his political career, said the CBDT statement.

The leader also provided a sample of his handwriting in order to verify the genuineness of the said loose sheets. Further, he also stated that the fabricated loose sheets were politically motivated with an intention to tarnish his political image.

In view of facts, the CBDT said, an enquiry was made to the Director, Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Directorate of Forensics Science Services, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Amberpet Post, Ramanthapur, Hyderabad, Telangana on availability of document analysis and the procedure, time period for the same on April 18, 2018.

“In response, CFSL, Hyderabad replied on April 24, 2018 that the examination of handwriting and signatures is carried out in the said laboratory and that all the disputed documents are to be sent in original. No originals were given by D. K. Shivakumar.

“It is clear that for a forensic analysis of the disputed writings to establish its evidentiary value, originals of the same are required. All efforts have been made by the Income Tax Office concerned to procure the originals of the disputed writings. However, the details about the place and custody of the original writings and, if the original writings exist, are not available.

“The same loose sheets prima facie appear to be of a doubtful nature and were given by the person who was being raided for tax violations,” said the statement.

India

President Kovind donates ₹5 lakh for Ram Temple construction

His Excellency Ram Nath Kovind along with his family donated in their individual capacity to the donation drive and conveyed their warm greetings for the nationwide fund campaign,” VHP President Alok Kumar said after receiving the donation from the President.

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New Delhi, President Ram Nath Kovind has given the first donation for the construction of the grand Ram temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. He donated ₹5,00,100 to a joint delegation of office bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Ram Mandir Trust at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday.

With this donation by President Kovind, the fund collection drive for the Ram temple started across the country. The campaign will run till February 27.
“We went to President Ram Nath Kovind for the launch of the Ram Mandir Fund Donation Drive. He donated Rs 5,00,100 under the Shri Ram Mandir Fund Donation Drive which kicked-off across the country from Friday. His Excellency Ram Nath Kovind along with his family donated in their individual capacity to the donation drive and conveyed their warm greetings for the nationwide fund campaign,” VHP President Alok Kumar said after receiving the donation from the President.

Vinod Bansal, the VHP national spokesperson, told that a massive public outreach campaign would be launched to cover 13 crore families across 5.25 lakh villages in the country for the construction of the grand Ram temple at Ayodhya. As many as 65 crore people from 13 crore families would be directly linked with the Ram Mandir fund donation drive.

The delegation to meet President Kovind comprised the treasurer of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, Govind Dev Giri Maharaj, VHP President Alok Kumar, Ram Mandir Construction Committee Chairman Nripendra Mishra and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Delhi state Head Kulbhushan Ahuja.

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Supreme Court to take up pleas connected to farm laws on Jan 18

The Supreme Court is likely to hear on Monday the pleas challenging the three farm laws and also the pleas seeking the removal of farmers camping at various Delhi borders.

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New Delhi: A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Vincent Saran will take up the petitions on January 18. On January 12, the top court stayed the implementation of the three farm laws until further orders.

The hearing assumes significance after Bhartiya Kisan Union President Bhupinder Singh Mann, a key member of the court-appointed expert panel, recused himself.

In a statement, Mann said he would give up any position to prevent farmers’ interests from being compromised.

He said that in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst the farm unions and the public in general, he is ready to sacrifice any position offered or given so as to not compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country.

“I am recusing myself from the committee and I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab,” Mann added.

Apart from Mann, Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra) president Anil Ghanwat, International Food Policy Research Institute’s Pramod Kumar Joshi and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati have been appointed by the apex court on the expert panel.

Staying the implementation of the farm laws, the top court had expressed hope that this step may help resolve the deadlock.

However, amid the ninth round of talks on Friday, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, who is part of the negotiations between farmer unions and the Centre, said the unions have made it clear that the committee formed by the Supreme Court is “not acceptable” to us.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been agitating at various Delhi borders since November end.

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Accept mistake and repeal farm laws: Justice Katju to PM Modi

Markandey Katju also suggested that a statutory farmers’ commission be set up to deal with their problems

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The former Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju, on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately repeal the three new farm laws through an ordinance and urged him to accept his “mistake” of hurrying the three laws through.

“All human beings make mistakes. By doing this, far from losing face, you will be applauded. If you do it your popularity, far from going down, will soar,” Justice Katju wrote in a letter to Modi. He also suggested that a statutory farmers’ commission be set up to deal with farmers’ problems.

Without such concessions, he contended, the protesting farmers’ plan to enter Delhi on Republic Day with their tractors and the likely police action could lead to another Jallianwala Bagh or massacres similar to Bloody Sunday in St Petersburg (January 1905) or 13 Vendémiaire in Paris (October 1795).

“Bloody Sunday” refers to firing by the Tsar’s forces on unarmed demonstrators in St Petersburg on January 22, 1905. Estimates of the death toll range from around 100 to 4,000.

On 13 Vendémiaire (first month in the French Republican Calendar) of Year 4 — or October 5, 1795 — revolutionary troops under Napoleon Bonaparte, then a general, quelled a rebellion by royalists. Some 1,400 royalists are estimated to have been killed.

Justice Katju, who was a Supreme Court judge till 2011, warned that angering the farmers, now united across castes and religions, could cost Modi politically and using violence against them could trigger turmoil in the states and affect the armed forces, whose personnel come mostly from farming families.

He wrote: “The farmers in huge numbers are presently camped at the border of Delhi but are determined to enter Delhi on 26th January and join the Republic Day parade with their tractors. This will obviously not be allowed by the Government, and consequently, violence in the form of police and paramilitary lathi charges and firing seems inevitable, and a Jalianwala Bagh type massacre (or like the massacre on Bloody Sunday in St Petersburg in Russia in January 1905, or as on Vendemiarie in Paris in October 1795) may ensue.”

Saying that he was sure Modi would like to avoid that, Justice Katju added: “The Government should issue an Ordinance immediately repealing the 3 laws. If you do this, you will be hailed by all for doing it. If anyone asks why the laws were made at all, you can say that we made a mistake, and we realise our mistake and are correcting it. All human beings make mistakes. By doing this, far from losing face, you will be applauded. If you do it your popularity, far from going down, will soar.

“Simultaneously, the Government should appoint a High Powered Farmers Commission having as its members representatives of the leading farmers’ organisations, government representatives, and agricultural experts, tasked with the duty of considering all aspects of the problems of our farmers, the principal one being that they are not getting adequate remuneration for their produce (because of which 3 to 4 lac farmers have already committed suicide).

“This Farmers Commission should hold several meetings, perhaps stretching over several months, and then the consensus which emerges, to which everyone agrees, should be enacted as a comprehensive law.”

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