Income Tax department searches at his residence prompted Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot to call off a scheduled study trip on electric buses to China on Saturday, a day after two senior department officials left India for the same trip.
Special Commissioner KK Dahiya and Deputy Commissioner Subodh Kumar left for China on Friday night. It was not immediately clear as to whether they will be asked to return. “Gahlot was supposed to lead the delegation. Since he is not going, the trip stands cancelled for all purposes,” an official said.
A statement issued by Gahlot’s legal team said, “An important tour for procuring battery-powered buses for DTC to curb pollution as well providing respite to citizens of Delhi from shortage of buses, was also cancelled since Gahlot was not allowed to leave his residence while the IT officials had nothing to do except enjoy tea, snacks, meals and catching up on their sleep.”
Meanwhile, Gahlot’s lawyers claimed that an amount of Rs 11 lakh — “the amount which has been duly accounted for in books” — was found by the IT team during its searches spanning Thursday and Friday. The other things recovered include Rs 24 lakhs from Gahlot’s elder brother, and jewellery worth Rs 28 lakh and Rs 41 lakh belonging to Gahlot’s wife and mother-in-law respectively, the statement added.
“Another falsehood being planted is that Benami properties worth Rs 100 crore were found during raids, while as a matter of fact not a single document was recovered,” the statement said.