CBDT Chairman's kin probed for illicit land deals; Congress smells conspiracy
Uttar Pradesh government has tightened its grip around real estate developer Arvind Goel, brother-in-law of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra, in connection with the alleged buying and selling of about 200 acres of land parcels in Moradabad through suspected black money.
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh government has tightened its grip around real estate developer Arvind Goel, brother-in-law of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra, in connection with the alleged buying and selling of about 200 acres of land parcels in Moradabad through suspected black money.
The transactions were made in between the years 2004 and 2017. As per the initial investigation, the money was transacted through 57 sale deeds and 37 power of attorneys. These dealings had massive irregularity in payment of stamp duty, thus causing a loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer.
Goel and his brother, Vipin Goel, have been accused of buying large tracts of land through 20 companies which prima facie have been found to be shell firms.
State government’s stamp and registration department found these companies as 'shell firms' as many of them do not have clear addresses and some are registered on a single address. Four of these companies gave addresses of Delhi, including of Greater Kailash and Savita Vihar.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered a proby by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Dec 1, 2017. Departmental reports had recommended handing over the case to either the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) or Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). However, a second order was issued within the next week saying “status quo” should be maintained. As per file notings of Special Secretary in CM’s office, the change was made on the basis of Arvind Goel’s representation saying the probe against him would amount to “mental harassment”.
Congress, on the other hand, has accused the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government of shielding Goel by deliberately conducting the probe by a special investigation team (SIT).
Addressing a press meet at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi on January 28, party spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “We want to ask this question to the prime minister, the chief minister and the interim union finance minister: Was this probe withdrawn because he [Goel] happens to be a close relative of the CBDT chairman? As you all know, he has been given unprecedented extensions by the NDA/BJP government. We want to ask the prime minister, is that reflective of your commitment to weed out black money?”