New Delhi,Jan 6 (): Virbhadra Singh’s apples from his orchards were carried in scooters and oil tankers for sale,which fetched him Rs 6.5 crore.
Income Tax officials inspecting this agricultural income (which is non-taxable) found this novel way to transport apples to the market. Virbhadra now Himachal Pradesh CM as a Union minister had taken bribes from steel firms.
Income Tax authorities in HP have stumbled upon these revelations while investigating Virbhadra Singh’s claims. IT authorities sent notices to Virbhadra and his farm manager Anand Chouhan, also an insurance agent who looks after the Srikhand orchards in Rampur, about their claims of the sale of apples.
The IT authorities have decided to probe Virbhadra Singh’s income tax assessment for 2010-11 due to discrepancies, it is learnt.
Chouhan had claimed in IT returns to have sold the apples to Universal Apple Associate in Parwanoo. Chunnilal. the buyer gave tax authorities details of registration numbers of vehicles, used to transport apples from Virbhadra’s orchards.
Investigation by income tax authorities revealed that two registration numbers were of scooters, another number was that of an oil tanker. Yet another number had not been allotted by RTO at all. Other numbers were those of “tripper” vehicles not suitable for transporting apples. Other numbers were in serial order.Obviously, no apples were sold to Chunnilal. This means that agricultural income was black money, says IT.
BJP’s Arun Jaitley had written to PM Manmohan Singh listing several bribery charges against Virbhadra, which includes payoff by a steel firm when he was Union steel minister.
Revised claim was because Chouhan had settled the sale proceeds of his 105 bigha apple orchard. Virbhadra and Chouhan had entered into an agreement so that the latter would look after the orchard and use the sale proceeds to invest in LIC or mutual funds on behalf of Virbhadra and his family.