The Modi government has launched an investigation into the political funding of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress suspecting the source of some of the contributions may be tax-evaded funds. The income tax investigation against the two political parties and 48 others was launched on February 9, the day before Delhi Assembly poll results gave a sweeping victory to AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal.
An official statement from the department said the probe was into issuance of cheques by companies that were into money laundering.
The statement, which did not name the political parties, said the department has sought information about the identity of the contributors and other relevant details necessary to complete the probe.
The investigation follows the disclosures made by AVAM, a breakaway group of the AAP, which claimed that shell companies with no networth had contributed four cheques of R50 lakh each to AAP on the midnight of April 15 last year. AAP, which is set to form the government in the capital on Saturday, has since then maintained that all enforcement agencies were free to probe the donations.
Speaking to news agencies, AAP spokesperson Atishi Marlena confirmed the receipt of the tax notices. While welcoming the probe, AAP also demanded a probe political funding of all political parties and not just AAP.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said that enforcement agencies would look into the source of the alleged funds as and when the matter would reach them.
“The (funding) companies and their directors could not be traced at the addresses given to banks and the ministry of corporate affairs.
Examination of the accounts of these companies revealed that they have issued accommodation entries to several persons and entities for substantial amounts. It was also found that sources for such entries were prima facie not genuine,” said the statement.
The income tax department said that during a recent investigation in Kolkata, it had detected substantial unaccounted income.
According to sources, the operation conducted in Kolkata led to “admission” of R60 crore tax revenue, out of which a few cases were associated with donations made for political purposes and to political parties.