New Delhi:The income-tax (I-T) department has issued a notice to Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s wife Anita Singhvi for allegedly buying jewellery in cash, as the tax authority expanded its investigation into the Punjab National Bank fraud to include high-value clients of jewellery designer Nirav Modi.
Modi is at the centre of the alleged Rs11,400 crore fraud at the bank. According to an official privy to the development, a notice has been issued to Anita Singhvi for allegedly purchasing jewellery in cash.
The official said it was premature at this stage to conclude whether the source of funds was unaccounted for or not, as the enquiry was still on.
The notice has been issued under section 131 of the I-T Act which allows officials to call for documents or summon an assessee.
On his Twitter page, Abhishek Singhvi denied any wrongdoing by himself, his wife or any of their companies, and said that all transactions were properly accounted for.
“Neither my family nor I, nor any company of ours has the remotest lender-borrower, shareholder or director interest in any Modi/Choksi company. One company -Adwait (Advait Holdings Ltd.)-had five year old tenancy to Modi company (vacated in 2017) and my wife purchased some jewellery all paid in cheque," tweeted Singhvi.
“All ₹ 1.56 crore (is) paid for fully in cheque and accounted for with receipts by India’s highest taxpayer," the Congress leader said in the tweet.
The I-T Act has prohibited cash transactions above Rs2 lakh with effect from 1 April 2017 as a way of discouraging use of cash and to encourage electronic payments that leave a trail. Any person receiving payment in cash above this threshold is liable to pay a penalty equivalent to that amount.
Singhvi also said that the questionnaire sent by the tax department will be answered in accordance with the law and that all supporting documents will be produced. The Congress leader said the tax department’s questionnaire amounted to alleging that renting of property to a Modi company makes one complicit in his alleged misdeeds.
“Happen to be India’s highest taxpayer in my category for many years and often even across different categories. Purchases in cheque of large amounts all reflected in accounts. Harassment, innuendo, insinuation must have its limits," Singhvi said in another tweet.