In the last three years, the income tax department has detected undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 36,051 crore during search operations, besides confiscating undisclosed assets such as gold and other valuable items worth Rs 2,890 crore.
Apart from this, Rs 33,000 crore has been detected as undisclosed income by the I-T department in 15,000 surveys conducted between April 1, 2014 and February 28, 2017. Out of this, 1,100 raids were carried out during the demonetisation period, when undisclosed income worth Rs 5,400 crore was unraveled.
The I-T has sent at least 5,100 notices to various entities “for verification of high value suspicious cash deposits made in bank accounts” while simultaneously referring more than 400 cases to the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate “for further action in accordance with the law”.
Further, out of about 18 lakh persons who were sent communications by the I-T department for cash deposits made after the November 8, over 3.78 lakh cases are being dealt with as “high risk cases”.
All this statistics has been put forth by the I-T department before the Supreme Court in its affidavit to justify why it chose not to exercise its jurisdiction for extending the deadline from December 30 to accept demonetised currency notes.
Standing firm on its decision, the affidavit filed by the finance ministry on Friday has highlighted the numbers to buttress its argument that widespread malpractices and gross misuse of exemptions granted for use of old notes called for immediate steps to to ensure demonetisation achieved its objectives.
About the need to issue an Ordinance to fix a deadline of December 30 for using old notes, the government said: “It was necessary to promulgate the said Ordinance since it was incumbent upon the Central government to inter-alia have clarity and finality to the liabilities of the Reserve Bank of India as well as the Central government arising from such specified bank notes which had ceased to be legal tender.”
The government maintained that the Ordinance had an overriding effect on all previous notifications, including the one that had mentioned people would be allowed to deposit and exchange old notes until March 31, 2017. The affidavit, however, did not mention anything on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on November 8 when he also had said people would be permitted to exchange old notes until March 31, 2017.
“The Central government took a conscious decision that no necessity or any justifiable reason exists, either in law or on facts, to invoke its power under Section 4(1)(ii) of the Ordinance to entitle any person to tender within the grace period the specified bank notes,” said the affidavit, as it also mentioned that ‘Operation Clean Money’ project has been initiated by the I-T department for people to declare unaccounted cash and deposits post demonetisation, with latest compliance window ending on March 31.