“The prima facie verification with known sources of income has indicated discrepancy and therefore is taken up for further ‘investigation’ which may include reference to the assessing officer for making assessment,” the CBDT said.
A “Prima facie verification” of election affidavits “by the Directors General of Income Tax” has “indicated discrepancies” in the income disclosures made by seven Lok Sabha members and 98 MLAs, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) told the Supreme Court on Monday.
“The prima facie verification with known sources of income has indicated discrepancy and therefore is taken up for further ‘investigation’ which may include reference to the assessing officer for making assessment,” the CBDT said in its affidavit filed before a Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer, which is hearing a PIL on electoral reforms.
The PIL, filed by an NGO, wants candidates to disclose their sources of income in their election affidavits. Listing 26 Lok Sabha members, 11 Rajya Sabha members and 257 MLAs, the NGO had demanded that their income growth should be scrutinised. The CBDT said the poll affidavits of these lawmakers were referred to the DGIT and replies were received in the case of 26 LS members, 2 RS members and 215 MLAs. The verification reports of nine RS members and 42 MLAs are pending.
The CBDT affidavit, however, does not mention the names of the legislators in whose cases the discrepancies were noted. The names will be placed before the court in a sealed cover, it said.
The court, while hearing the case on September 6, had termed an earlier affidavit filed by the CBDT as incomplete and asked the department to file a fresh one. The court had, however, allowed it to submit the names in a sealed cover if they could not be made public. The court had observed that although the government’s stand was that it was not averse to electoral reforms, it had not submitted the necessary details to support this.
The CBDT said the information could not be disclosed or shared in public as it enjoyed immunity under the Right To Information Act. “It is humbly submitted that Directors General of Income Tax (Investigation) are exempt under Section 24 read with Schedule 11 of the Right to Information Act,2005 (RTI),” it said. “Therefore, the reports of verification of affidavits of the candidates by the Directors General of Income Tax (Investigation) cannot be provided under the RTI Act. It is also pertinent to note here the statutory restrictions under Section 138 of the Income Tax Act,” it added.
The NGO had claimed that the candidates, while filing their nomination papers, disclose their assets and assets of their spouse, children and other dependents, but do not reveal the sources of income.
The double-track project will connect Ahmedabad with Mumbai, passing through 12 stations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart from Japan Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation for the country’s first high-speed train project — Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train — on September 14th in Ahmedabad.
The 508-km-long project to be built with estimated investment of ₹1,08,000 crore will be funded up to 81% by Japan with soft loan of ₹88,000 crore at interest rate of 0.1% with repayment period 50 years.
“It is for the first time in history in India that an infrastructure project is being funded on such favourable terms,” a release issued by the Gujarat government stated, claiming that the entire project would be funded without putting any strain on existing financial resources of the country.
The release stated that the project testing and commissioning date has been advanced from December 2023 to August 2022.
According to the details of the project, the Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail will be passing through two States, Maharashtra 155.642 km and Gujarat 350.530 km and one Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli 2 km. The double-track project involves 21 km of tunnel with seven km under sea at Thane Creek in Mumbai.
There will be 12 stations catered to, starting from an underground station in Mumbai, while remaining stations at Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati will be elevated.
As part of the project, a dedicated High Speed Rail Training Institute is being developed in Vadodara and will become functional by end of 2020. Around 4,000 staff members will be trained in this institute and they will be responsible for operation and maintenance of the ambitious project, which will usher in the new era of high-speed railways in the country.
The Central government’s flagship Make In India will also get a major boost as the high-speed train project’s implementation begins as most of the components, track systems and even rolling stocks will be manufactured in India with the help of the Japanese government and private-sector companies involved in manufacturing railway components.
“The construction sector in India will also get a big boost not only in terms of investment but also with respect to new technology and work culture. This project is likely to generate employment for about 20,000 workers during the construction phase, who will be trained specialist to take up construction of such projects in India,” the release stated.
Key features of bullet train
Length: 508-km double line. Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail will be passing through two States, Maharashtra 155.642 km and Gujarat 350.530 km and one Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli 2 km.
Longest 21 km tunnel with 7 km under sea at Thane Creek.
12 stations: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, Sabarmati. Except Mumbai, all other stations will be elevated.
Maximum Design Speed: 350 kmph
Maximum Operating speed: 320 kmph.
Journey time: - 2.07 hrs (limited stops), 2.58 hrs (stopping at all stations).
Maintenance of Trains: Sabarmati (Depot & Workshop) and Thane Depot.
Operations Control Centre (OCC) at Sabarmati. High Speed Railway training Centre which was earlier planned at Gandhinagar will now be located at Vadodara.
Gauri Lankesh, one of India's most fearless and outspoken journalists, was killed outside her Bengaluru home last Tuesday, shot dead at close range by unknown bikers.
BENGALURU: The BJP has sent a legal notice to historian Ramachandra Guha, who had alleged that journalist Gauri Lankesh's killers could be from the Sangh Parivar - a group of organisations led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP's ideological mentor. Mr Guha has been warned of civil and criminal action if he doesn't offer an unconditional apology within three days for his comments, the BJP has said.
The legal notice quotes the eminent historian as telling Scroll.in last week: "It is very likely that her murderers came from the same Sangh Parivar from which the murderers of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi came."
In tweets today after news of the BJP's legal notice broke, Mr Guha shared an essay he wrote on threats of freedom of expression in India. "In India today, independent writers and journalists are harassed, persecuted, and even killed. But we shall not be silenced," he tweeted.
Gauri Lankesh, one of India's most fearless and outspoken journalists, was killed outside her Bengaluru home last Tuesday, shot dead at close range by unknown bikers. The police have not yet made any significant progress in its investigation. The killing has sharply divided commentators, politicians and the media and fuelled a storm on social media.
Mr Guha is among those who have flagged a pattern between this murder and three others over the past four years, those of renowned scholar MM Kalburgi in Karnataka and Leftist thinker Govind Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Maharashtra. All were shot dead right outside their homes by unknown bikers believed to be hired killers.
In the legal notice, the BJP pointed out that none of these murders have been solved so far. A BJP leader in Karnataka said the RSS is the "world's largest voluntary socio-cultural organization" and the BJP is the "world's largest democratic political party".
The notice says: "Your deliberate, false and calculated statement against our client's organization has caused great anguish in the minds of thousands of its members and sympathisers."
Triple talaq: At the marathon meeting in Bhopal on Sunday, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) again accused the government of attempting an attack on Muslim personal laws, and welcomed the court order for not going in that direction.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) executive committee meeting on Sunday did not discuss filing a review petition against the Supreme Court order holding instant triple talaq illegal. Sources said during informal discussions it was felt that a review plea may throw open more religious practices like polygamy to judicial scrutiny.
It was the first meeting of the AIMPLB’s highest decision-making body since the Supreme Court order. The board had maintained studied restraint on it and there was speculation that the executive committee could decide on a review petition.
At the marathon meeting in Bhopal on Sunday, the AIMPLB again accused the government of attempting an attack on Muslim personal laws, and welcomed the court order for not going in that direction.
Putting this one positive takeaway from last month’s triple talaq judgment — the majority verdict upholding personal laws based on religion — in jeopardy would not be a sensible move, many in the topmost echelons of the board felt. The executive committee, however, resolved to set up a panel to examine the judgment to find any inconsistencies with the Shariah. The board also recorded its “commitment to carry forward largescale reforms”.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the board said, “The government had laid bare its intention in the form of the Attorney General’s submissions in the Hon’ble Supreme Court that all forms of dissolution of marriages without intervention of the court should be declared as unconstitutional. We register our displeasure and consider it as attack on personal law of Muslims. This stand of the present government is contrary to the protection guaranteed by the Constitution of India. We make (a) categorical statement that the Community cannot and shall not tolerate such attack on personal law of Muslim community.”
On August 22, a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, by a 3-2 majority verdict, had held the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) illegal. Several Muslim organisations, including the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, among the oldest in the country, had objected to this, saying that instant triple talaq should continue and be recognised as a legitimate divorce among Muslims even if that meant courting punishment as per the law of the land.
Kamal Faruqui, a member of the AIMPLB executive committee, told The Indian Express, “The matter of a review petition was absolutely not discussed at the meeting. Whoever thought we would be doing so was merely imagining things. We have always advocated a reasonable line, we are not in favour like some other organisations of taking to the streets at the slightest pretext. We try to steer clear of adopting a confrontational attitude because there are many other issues of Muslims, like education, that need attention. We will stand up against anyone when it is required, but now is not the time. We are not emphasising it, but we did win a major victory when the SC upheld personal laws; we are not talking because we do not want it to be politicised again.”
Board insiders say the matter of a review petition was discussed in informal deliberations over the past 20-odd days, but most felt that the risks of such a move far outweighed its potential benefits. Said a source, “There is a saying in Urdu, ‘Namaz bakshwane gaye they, roze gale padh gaye (Had gone to seek exemption from namaz, ended up being saddled with roza)’. Things have changed since the last order, there is a new CJI (Chief Justice of India), there will be a new Bench looking at it. What if they do not feel the same way about personal laws? What if they want to examine other practices like polygamy, nikah halala etc, like the original two-judge Bench had wanted examined? We would end up opening more fronts than we would like to. That is why the review petition never came up in the executive committee.”
Sunday’s resolution said Islamic/Sharia law is based upon Quran, Hadith, Ijma and Qiyas and that the sanctity of belief and practices in personal/matrimonial relationship in Islamic laws cannot be treated differently from the belief and practices in personal/matrimonial relationship by other citizens who follow own customs and practices.
Holding that the board had always felt that instant triple talaq was a sin, even though admissible in the Hanafi, Maliki, Ambali and Shafai schools of Sunni law, the resolution said it had taken steps to discourage the practice through community-reform programmes and had issued a model nikahnama about two decades ago.
The board said it had also informed the apex court about its resolution passed on April 16, that those who indulge in talaq-e-bidat should be socially boycotted and had filed an affidavit that it would advise all qazis, imams, maulvis to counsel the bridegroom not to pronounce three divorces in one sitting.
The chief organiser of the AIMPLB women’s wing, Asma Zehra, claimed 99 per cent of Muslim women are in favour of Muslim personal law. “In the name of showing sympathy with Muslim women, a door is being opened to interfere in our religion.” She added that there would be a lot of difficulties in implementing the order on triple talaq.
‘Why sudden hurry on Babri?’
At its Sunday meeting, the AIMPLB executive committee also expressed its surprise over the Supreme Court’s decision to begin hearing the Babri Masjid case on a daily basis. Noting that the court had previously found it impossible to speed up the hearing because it had to go through a lot of documents, the board said it would abide by whatever the court decides, “but the process has to be judicial without bringing politics into it. It’s related to property, it’s a title suit.”
The AIMPLB said the court had now given very little time to the two parties, and that there was not enough time to translate all the documents. Saying “we would do our best”, the board said, “We feel this may be used as a plank by a certain political party. We want the might and respect of the court should not be compromised. Court is our last resort.”
It added that its president and general secretary would come out with a detailed observation at a later stage talking to lawyers. Without naming anyone, the board said “one gentleman from a particular party” was appearing in court without any authority, despite being told in the past that he would not be entertained.
Delhi is the capital of India and thus one of the most important cities of the nation. Many of the happenings and decisions that shape the course of the country are taken here and that is why the complete nation is always interested in knowing the Delhi news.