The Moin Qureshi Income-Tax probe has taken a fresh turn, with former CBI Director A P Singh and members of his family receiving summons from the Income-Tax department last week. As reported earlier, Singh has rented out the basement of his house to Qureshi, which was one of the locations that the I-T department searched in February.
A series of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) messages exchanged between the meat exporter and the former CBI chief over the years are currently under the scanner.
Top officials in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) told The Indian Express that A P Singh — who is now a Member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) — and his wife and daughter have been sent summons. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is said to have been briefed on the developments in the case and, possibly, on the despatch of the notices as well.
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The Indian Express reported the details of BBM exchanges between Singh and Qureshi on May 15.
Case details accessed by The Indian Express show that near identical summonses were issued to Singh and his wife on June 10 under Section 131 (1A) of the Income-Tax Act. The former CBI Director has been asked to submit, since 2006, details of all immovable properties, their mode of acquisition and rentals received; tabulation of all bank accounts in India and abroad; credit card payments; and all personal and official travel, including details of passports.
The I-T department has listed the properties owned by Singh and his wife in the notices.
When contacted, Singh confirmed that he had received the notices, and said he would soon desptach the details sought by the I-T authorities. He, however, said that his daughter lives in London, and she has not as yet received any communication from the I-T department.
CBDT officials said Singh’s daughter was being contacted because they had traced BBM exchanges between her and Moin Qureshi, which showed some financial “transactions” between them.
The BBM transcripts, accessed by The Indian Express, show that Singh’s daughter on one occasion asked Moin Qureshi, “how much the return on my investment for October was”. Qureshi replied: “Rs 53,425 for October”.
Another reply from him said: “Rs 58,750 for November”.
Asked about these BBM exchanges, A P Singh said, “I am not aware of these transactions between Moin and my daughter. But what I would like to point out is that the Income Tax has not listed any financial transactions listed in any BBM transcripts. Also, a vast majority of the messages between Moin Qureshi and me were exchanged after I demitted office as CBI Director. There is only one set of exchanges on a CBI case and that case too had by then been chargesheeted.”