August 10, 2022

The Bombay High Court has rejected a petition filed by Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Chhagan Bhujbal challenging a show cause notice issued by the Income Tax department.

In a judgment passed earlier this month, a division bench of Justices K R Shriram and A B Borkar observed that they did not see any reason to exercise their extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and prohibit the authority from proceeding further in the matter.

Bhujbal’s petition challenged a notice issued to him by the Assessing Officer on March 31, 2019 issued under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act). The notice stated that there were “reasons to believe that income chargeable to tax for the A.Y. 2012-13 assessment year) has escaped assessment within the meaning of Section 147 of the Act.”

Interestingly, the escaping of income, as alleged by the IT department, pertains to his dealings with two construction companies – one connected to New Delhi’s Maharashtra Sadan scam and the other to the Mumbai University library scam case. According to the allegations in those cases Bhujbal allegedly favoured the construction companies and had illegal dealings. Accused connected to the construction company in the Maharashtra Sadan scam case have since been discharged.
The March 2019 notice stated that the assessing officer had reasons to believe that income chargeable to tax for the A.Y. 2012-13 has escaped assessment within the meaning of Section 147 of the Act. Bhujbal…

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