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Bhajan Lal’s son Kuldeep Bishnoi, others under ED scanner

Congress leaders Renuka and Kuldeep Bishnoi arrives to take part in the proceedings on first day of monsoon session of Haryana assembly in Chandigarh on September 07, 2018.

Congress leaders Renuka and Kuldeep Bishnoi arrives to take part in the proceedings on first day of monsoon session of Haryana assembly in Chandigarh on September 07, 2018.   | Photo Credit: AKHILESH KUMAR

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They are also under IT scanner in connection with alleged undisclosed overseas assets worth over ₹200 crore

The Enforcement Directorate is investigating suspected Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations involving Haryana Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi and others. They are also under the Income Tax Department’s scanner in connection with alleged undisclosed overseas assets worth over ₹200 crore.

The name of a British Virgin Islands-based company, Grande Maison Limited, which had accounts in the Channel Islands, came up during the multi-agency probe. They were also examining if one Paramjeet Kaur, who operated from the United Kingdom, managed most of the assets abroad, said a senior official on July 29.

The ED shared details of its initial findings with the IT Department, which on July 23 conducted searches on the premises linked to the Bishnois in Delhi, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and allegedly detected the foreign assets, the official said.

Mr. Bishnoi, son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, is a third-time MLA from Adampur constituency in the State.

Reacting to the searches, he tweeted in Hindi on July 27 saying: “The way the BJP tried to harass me and my family with a political motive for four days shows their petty mindset. They did not even spare my old and sick mother. I have always lived the life of honesty and principles. I have never been, nor will be, afraid of the BJP.”

Under FEMA, the ED can impose penalty up to 300% of the amount involving the alleged violation and also attach domestic properties equivalent to the value of overseas assets in question. However, it can pursue money laundering probe only based on scheduled offences being investigated by a primary agency.

“As and when the Income Tax Department institutes a case under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, we can initiate proceedings under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,” the official said.

The IT Department has, in a statement, said the detection of undisclosed foreign assets, apart from domestic tax evasion of over ₹30 crore, may lead to severe criminal consequences under the Black Money Act.

It alleges that the group, controlled by persons having significant political presence in Haryana, had been generating large amounts of undisclosed income over decades.

“The black money generated in India through various means has been stashed abroad in the form of lavish properties in the names of foreign trusts/companies located in tax havens,” it said, adding that such foreign holdings were in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, British Virgin Islands, Panama and Jersey in the Channel Islands.

“One of the persons covered during the search operation was trying to obtain citizenship of a Caribbean Island,” said the IT Department.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 4:57:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bhajan-lals-son-kuldeep-bishnoi-others-under-ed-scanner/article28754918.ece

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