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Qureshi faces ED probe, I-T rejects his immunity plea

Qureshi had offered to pay additional tax on undisclosed income for immunity from prosecution.

Written by Appu Esthose Suresh | New Delhi | Published: December 27, 2014 12:50:06 am

Spelling fresh trouble for controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi, the Income Tax settlement commission has rejected his application for immunity from prosecution. He also faces a probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged violation of foreign exchange.

Qureshi had approached the settlement commission, offering to pay additional tax on undisclosed income for immunity from prosecution. On Tuesday, the commission rejected his application after the Income Tax department said it had evidence to show that Qureshi did not make full disclosure about his assets abroad.

A pre-condition for accepting a case in the settlement commission is that the applicant has to make full disclosure of all assets and income which he had not disclosed previously. A source in the Finance Ministry said, “Investigations have indicated that Qureshi holds assets in London and Hong Kong. He also owns several bank accounts in foreign destinations which were not found in his disclosure before the settlement commission.”

Following an eight-month investigation, the Income Tax department raised a demand of Rs 150 crore. It also started prosecution proceedings against Qureshi.

The department has shared the outcome of its investigation with the ED to probe alleged foreign exchange violation under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. The information shared includes high-value cash purchases made by Qureshi’s family members in the US. The Income Tax department moved a letter rogatory recently, seeking information on Qureshi’s assets from two destinations abroad.

In November, the Income Tax department initiated proceedings to prosecute Qureshi and attach his properties in India, which include shares of asset-owning companies, a farmhouse in Chhattarpur, Delhi and land in Noida and Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.

Qureshi was at the centre of a controversy over his alleged links to senior CBI officers. In an appraisal report submitted to the Supreme Court, the Delhi unit of the I-T investigation wing stated that Qureshi had undeclared income of Rs 157 crore, of which Rs 5.87 crore was “income generated by Moin Qureshi with his high-level government contacts”.

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