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Prashant Bhushan bats for inheritance tax after losing the EVM battle, yet again

In an X post, Bhushan said: “Congress Party should be on the front foot on Sam Pitroda’s remarks on inheritance tax. This tax will be levied only on crorepatis, not on common people. The money would be used for development & funding employment. Every rich country has this tax. BJP is opposing this because it is tied to Arabpatis like Adani/Ambani whose children inherit lakhs of crores of their parents.”

On Friday (26th April), notorious Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan came out in support of the controversial Inheritance Tax, and ‘advised’ Congress party to come to front foot on Overseas Congress chairman Sam Pitroda. Prashant Bhushan’s comments on Inheritance Tax came when he lost the legal battle in the Supreme Court in the EVM case. The Supreme Court today rejected all the pleas seeking 100% verification of all votes cast using EVMs with VVPAT and going back to the ballot paper.

In an X post, Bhushan said: “Congress Party should be on the front foot on Sam Pitroda’s remarks on inheritance tax. This tax will be levied only on crorepatis, not on common people. The money would be used for development & funding employment. Every rich country has this tax. BJP is opposing this because it is tied to Arabpatis like Adani/Ambani whose children inherit lakhs of crores of their parents.”

These comments by Prashant Bhushan came after, Sam Pitroda on 24th April, suggested that a US-like inheritance tax should be brought in India amid outrage over the Congress party’s ‘wealth redistribution’ poll promise. Pitroda while explaining the inheritance tax claimed that in the US, 55% of the wealth is grabbed by the government when a person dies and the rest goes to the family, suggesting that Congress can bring a similar policy under its wealth redistribution promise.

“In America, there is an inheritance tax. If one has $100 million worth of wealth and when he dies he can only transfer probably 45% to his children, 55% is grabbed by the government. That’s an interesting law. It says you in your generation, made wealth and you are leaving now, you must leave your wealth for the public, not all of it, half of it, which to me sounds fair. In India, you don’t have that. If somebody is worth 10 billion and he dies, his children get 10 billion and the public gets nothing. So these are the kind of issues people will have to debate and discuss. I don’t know what the conclusion would be at the end of the day but when we talk about redistributing wealth, we are talking about new policies and new programs that are in the interest of the people and not in the interest of the super-rich only,” Pitroda said on Wednesday.

Pitroda’s remarks soon sparked an outrage and the Congress party had to distance itself from his remarks. Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications, Jairam Ramesh said that Sam Pitroda’s comments are his personal view and should not be considered as Congress’s views. Meanwhile, PM Modi in his poll rallies has severely criticised Congress over the inheritance tax issue.

Notably, Advocate Prashant Bhushan has been the primary activist against EVMs in the Supreme Court. Despite repeat rejections and multiple clarifications by the government and the ECI that the EVMs are tamper-proof, Bhushan, supported by Opposition parties, has been constantly fearmongering against EVMs. To date, no evidence of tampering against EVMs has been found to support his claims.

On 26th April, the Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Dipankar Datta and Sanjiv Khanna dismissed all petitions demanding a 100% verification of all votes cast using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails, or VVPATs, and going back to paper ballots. Justice Khanna delivered the verdict, stating that the court had thoroughly studied the procedures and technical factors and hence dismissed the request for 100% verification of EVM votes with VVPAT slips.

Before this, the Supreme Court while highlighting the autonomy of the Election Commission of India on 24th April observed that they don’t control the elections and the poll body has cleared doubts regarding EVMs. During today’s proceedings, the top court also reiterated that the EVM source codes should never be disclosed as doing so can lead to its misuse. During the hearing, Justice Khanna remarked: “We are in our 60s. We all know what happened when there were ballot papers, you may have, but we have not forgotten.”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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