After the Income Tax department froze two of his accounts over non-payment of tax dues, Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday accused former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal of hatching a ‘conspiracy to malign him’. Sidhu said he had paid an income tax of Rs 3 crore, while an ANI report had said the former cricketer and TV personality had tax dues amounting to Rs 52 lakh.
“They have sent me income tax notices at my Patiala and Delhi residences. I do not stay at both the addresses anymore. A month ago they sent a notice to my bank asking them to freeze my accounts. I learnt about it then and the very day I paid the remaining amount. Everything was cleared that day,” Sidhu told The Indian Express.
Earlier, an official in the I-T department said Sidhu’s accounts were sealed after the Congress minister failed to provide evidence to substantiate his income and refused to pay tax dues. A report said Sidhu had declared certain expenditure towards dress expenses, tour and travelling that were not substantiated through actual bills, and for which his income was reassessed and a fresh demand was raised.
Blaming Badal for using the I-T department to attack him, Sidhu wondered why a person who spent Rs 40-50 lakh just like that won’t pay income tax of a few lakhs. “Can you even think that a person who gives away Rs 40 to 50 lakh just like that would not pay income tax of a few lakhs? All this is a conspiracy hatched by Sukhbir. It is not even worth a reaction,” he said.
Sidhu appealed against the order in January last year but the commissioner of income tax appeals passed an order favouring the I-T department’s claims.