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Income Tax department slaps AAP with a Rs 30.67 crore notice

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Hemant Bijapurkar
Contributor at OpIndia.com, Wish to write a great trilogy someday!

The Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party might have landed itself into fresh trouble after it was reported that the party has been slapped with a Rs 30.67 crore Income Tax notice. As per the Income Tax department, the party has not disclosed income worth about Rs 13 crores and hasn’t even recorded full details of 462 donors who donated about Rs 6 crores.

Just yesterday the party was seen celebrating its 5 years of its so called “revolution”, after which various twitter users had decided to remind them of their broken promises.

This Income Tax order was passed on 23rd November and the department is expected to share its findings with the election commission of India. The order also claims that AAP had received about Rs 2 crores from Hawala channels in the year 2014-15 and it had later incorrectly disclosed it as voluntary donation.

The Income Tax department has also stated that 34 opportunities were given to the party in order to come out with the truth. The party has now been asked to pay a fine of Rs 30.67 cores on a total income of Rs 68.44 crore from 2014 to 2016. AAP has the option of challenging this order in the appellate tribunal and has been asked to furnish a reply by 7th December.

AAP has termed this IT notice as vindictive and its national treasurer Deepka Bajpai has claimed that the government is trying to harass AAP. Even Kejriwal seems to have termed this whole incident as political vendetta, but it remains to be seen if he comes out with a point to point rebuttal to all the allegations, rather than taking refuge behind rhetoric.

Soon after this news broke, rebel AAP leader tweeted that his 14th May expose had been successfully proven:

As reported in the past, Mishra had accused AAP of not revealing his total funding to either the Election Commission or the Income Tax department. He had also alleged that AAP was converting black money into white.

We had also reported Mishra’s allegations that the AAP had received a total of Rs 2 crore from four shell companies (Rs 50 lakh from each) through hawala transactions on 5 April, 2014. He had further claimed that AAP had illegally received donations to the tune of Rs 70 crore.

Mishra is back into his firebrand attacking mode after proclaiming on Sunday that if Kejriwal did not resign immediately, he would drag the AAP supremo to prison by his collar.

Also such Income Tax notice might mean that AAP has hit rock bottom when it comes to ensuring financial transparency in the party.

During the initial days, in order to showcase its “commitment” to transparency, the party had put a public list of donors on its website. The list was updated in real time and one could know the quantum and frequency of donations the party was receiving every day.

This list first got into trouble when in February 2015, the party couldn’t explain properly how it received 2 crore rupees and who were the real donors. This became stranger in July, 2016 when the party removed the list itself from its website.

This meant, questions continued to be raised over this issue and the party was also hit with a “Chanda Bandi” campaign, but to no avail.

Maybe this income tax investigation can finally bring out the complete truth in this sordid affair.

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Hemant Bijapurkar
Contributor at OpIndia.com, Wish to write a great trilogy someday!

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