A Ludhiana court Friday stayed an earlier order that had allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to inspect the fresh records filed by the Income-Tax department, related to the alleged income tax evasion cases against Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his son Raninder Singh.
On September 18, the court of judicial magistrate Jasbeer Singh, allowing the ED application, had given a go-ahead to the agency to inspect the fresh I-T records of Amarinder and his son. The court had allowed ED to conduct inspection on September 28.
On Friday, however, the court of additional district and sessions judge Atul Kasana, while admitting the revised petition filed by Raninder under section 397 of CrPC against the September 18 order, passed a fresh order staying the earlier order. The matter has now been adjourned for October 1 and ED has been issued a notice, said Gurmukh Singh, counsel for Raninder.
In the revised petition filed by Raninder against the order allowing ED inspection, it was argued that the agency has no ‘locus standi’ in the matter. Raninder’s counsel also argued that they were not served any notice and hence the September 18 order was ‘non-maintainable’. It was also argued that three I-T cases against Raninder and his father were still ‘sub-judice’ in trial court.
In an application submitted by the ED in Ludhiana court on August 14, the agency had sought permission for inspection of documents filed by the I-T department in all three cases. The application which was filed on the behalf of assistant director ED, said that the subject matter comes within the ambit of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 and hence the agency is authorized to investigate the matter.
The investigation by ED in I-T records of Amarinder and his son was already ongoing. In the fresh application, ED says that ‘to bring investigation to a logical end, the documents attached by the I-T department need to be examined’.
“It has come to our notice that the I-T department has produced some fresh documents in their evidence before the court which need to be examined,” said ED application.
A case against Amarinder is registered under section 277 (false statement of verification) of the I-T Act while two against Raninder are registered under the section 276-C (evasion of tax) and section 277 of the I-T Act with I-T department being the complainant in the case. They are ongoing in the trial court of chief judicial magistrate PS Kaleka.
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