June 9, 2011 1:53:38 am
The list of Indians with accounts in LGT Bank,in European tax haven Liechtenstein,that is now with the government shows that 18 individuals collectively put away Rs 39.66 crore during 2002-04 in trusts with the bank.
These individuals (see below) include businessmen in Kolkata,Mumbai,New Delhi and Chennai and members of their families. Their total tax penalty has been estimated at Rs 24.27 crore and recoveries have already begun from 17 of the 18 named.
The list,accessed by The Indian Express,is now with the Enforcement Directorate. A copy has to be sent to the CBI as the Supreme Court has said that either the National Intelligence Agency or the CBI should go after sources of these deposits rather than just rely on the Income-Tax Department for unearthing alleged income concealment and tax evasion.
The agencies have to probe whether these LGT deposits were involved with any alleged money laundering or whether the money parked abroad is proceeds from terrorist activities,drug peddling,smuggling,arms deals or activities against national security.
The Income-Tax Department has launched prosecution against 17 of these 18 between end-March and early May this year,said sources.
In February,Tehelka magazine published eight of these names but did not mention the income assessed or taxes due.
This list first surfaced in 2008 when a former LGT employee gave details of 1400 account holders to German tax authorities who launched a probe. Of these account holders,26 were Indian-named and Germany passed their details to India. A subsequent investigation showed that five were non-resident Indians and could not be covered for prosecution. Of the remaining 21,prosecution could be launched only against 18,sources said.
IT officials said the information was shared with both CBI and ED only after Germany agreed to exempt the information custodian,the IT Department,from the secrecy clause under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement to share it to the extent a criminal complaint is filed.
The government has argued that the list cannot be made public as it would violate the confidentiality clause signed with Germany. But Opposition parties like the BJP and the Left Front have been demanding that the names be disclosed.
The bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar has said that it could set up a multi-disciplinary Special Investigation Team monitored by a retired judge if the government continued to be slow in tracking the money trail.
The Indian Express contacted MRF whose officials said Mappillai passed away in 2005. But his son has paid the entire demand raised by the I-T department,said company officials. Arun Kochar,who resides in the US,could not be reached for comment while a phone call to the residence of the Dhupelias in Kolkata was replied to by an individual who said Manoj Dhupelia was not available.
Officials at Ashok Jaipurias Cosmo Ferrites and Cosmo Films,when told about the LGT tax demand,noted the reporters phone number but didnt return the call.
In Kolkata,The Indian Express visited the Ballygunge Park address of Rajesh Chandrakant Gandhi as mentioned on the Dolphin Labs website.
The security staff at the site said that the Gandhis had changed their home. Phone numbers of the office premises on Sarat Bose Road were found to be invalid.
In Mumbai,despite several calls,Hasmukh Gandhi was unavailable for comment. A legal advisor to Harshad Ramniklal Mehta,when contacted,said he was unaware of this tax matter.
BUSINESSMEN AND THEIR RELATIVES
* Arun Kochar (Delhi) – Investment Banker now residing in US.
Assessed Income: Rs 880.65 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 771.84 lakh
* Late KM Mammen Mappilai (Chennai) – Former CMD of MRF.
Assessed Income: Rs 271.87 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 128.15 lakh
* Harshad Ramnikal Mehta (Mumbai) – JMD Arunkumars Intl Ltd; Chairman,Rosy Blue FZE; 12% in Team Kochi through Film Wave of Rosy Blue.
Assessed Income: Rs 536.76 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 307.77 lakh
* Arun Ramniklal Mehta (Mumbai) – Founder and CMD,B Arunkumars International Ltd; Co-founder Rosy Blue.
Assessed Income: Rs 537.78 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 308.08 lakh
* Manoj Kumar Dhupelia (Kolkata) – Stock broker,KSE member.
Assessed Income: Rs 245.54 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 117.48 lakh
* Rupal Dhupelia (Kolkata) – Wife of Manoj Kumar Dhupelia
Assessed Income: Rs 247.43 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 131.28 lakh
* Mohan Manoj Dhupelia (Kolkata) – Son of Manoj Kumar Dhupelia
Assessed Income: Rs 236.62 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 141.78 lakh
* Ambrish Dhupelia (Mumbai) – Relative of Manoj Kumar Dhupelia
Assessed Income: Rs 238.32 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 140.95 lakh
* Bhavya Manoj Dhupelia (Mumbai) – Relative of Manoj Kumar Dhupelia
Assessed Income: Rs 239.73 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 130.47 lakh
* Hasmukh I Gandhi (Mumbai) – MD of Millenium Herbal Care Ltd
Assessed Income: Rs 39.49 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 22.88 lakh
* Madhu Hasmukh Gandhi (Mumbai) – Wife of Hasmukh I Gandhi
Assessed Income: Rs 41.34 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 23.39 lakh
* Chintan Gandhi (Mumbai) – Son; Director in Millenium; CEO of Pace ClinServe; Director,Emnet Samsara Media Ltd; Partner,OOH Media
Assessed Income: Rs 46.33 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 23.12 lakh
* Late Nirav Gandhi (Mumbai) – Son of Hasmukh I Gandhi
Assessed Income: Rs 44.27 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 25.41 lakh
* Ashok Jaipuria (Delhi) – Chairman of Cosmo Ferrites Ltd and Cosmo Films Ltd
Assessed Income: Rs 114.06 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 25.99 lakh
* Chandrakant I Gandhi (Kolkata) – CMD Dolphin Laboratories Ltd,ex-President IDMA
Assessed Income: Rs 73.86 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 31.33 lakh
* Dhanlaxmi C Gandhi (Kolkata) – Wife of Chandrakant I Gandhi
Assessed Income: Rs 55.03 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 32.49 lakh
* Rajesh C Gandhi (Kolkata) – Son of Chandrakant I Gandhi,CEO of Dolphin Labs
Assessed Income: Rs 59.37 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 32.65 lakh
* Viraj C Gandhi (Kolkata) – Son of Chandrakant; Founder,MedSmart Advantage; CEO,Medicine Shoppe India; MD,ICare Opticals
Assessed Income: Rs 58.00 lakh
Demand Raised: Rs 31.70 lakh
(With ENS,Mumbai,Kolkata,New Delhi)
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