Media spreads fake news about Rakesh Asthana donating 20 crore to BJP from police fund

Some media houses has reported that as Surat Police Commissioner, Rakesh Asthana has given 20 crores to BJP from police welfare fund

On October 27, some media houses reported that when CBI special director Rakesh Asthana was posted as Surat police commissioner, he had donated ₹20 crore from Police Welfare Fund to BJP’s election fund. The report was published by Mumbai Mirror of Times Group and Dainik Bhashkar, among others.

The reports claim that information was given by a retired police sub-inspector in an email sent to CBI. The reports also claim that the Income Tax Department has sent a TDS recovery for the amount ‘donated’, after which the papers relating to the Police Welfare Fund had gone missing for that period.

This report was originally published by Gujarati media house Divya Bhaskar, from which it was picked up by national media houses.

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The news was spread on Social Media platforms by many prominent users, including the official handle of CPI(M), national convener of Congress social media cell etc.

Now it appears that it was a completely fake news. Responding the news, Commissioner of Police in Surat has issued a clarification, saying that no such fund was transferred from the welfare fund. The clarification says that the police administration has verified the records of the fund, and they have confirmed that during the term of Rakesh Asthana as Surat police commissioner (2011-16), no such amount was sent to BJP from police welfare fund. The clarification says it is an utterly false and baseless allegation.

The clarification issued by Surat Police Commissioner

The claim of I-T department sending a TDS notice for the alleged donation is also questionable. Registered political parties are exempt from paying income tax on donations received, so there is no question of deducting tax from donations made to political parties.

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