Gujarati realtor hands over list of ‘real names’ behind Rs 13,860 cr to I-T Dept



A day after he appeared on live television amidst intense drama to vindicate himself from the undisclosed Rs 13,860 crore under Income Declaration Scheme (IDS), Ahmedabad-based businessman, Mahesh Shah submitted a list of ‘real names’ to the Income Tax (I-T) Department.

According to police sources, Shah (67), who deals in real estate, was let off on Sunday after being detained by I-T and police department on Saturday from the television studio of a national channel in Ahmedabad where he chose to appear in public. Shah, however, stayed away from media glare on Sunday, and was learnt to be staying at one of his relatives’ residence.

As per sources in the real estate industry, with Shah being rumoured to have links with some big politicians, especially in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), this could spell trouble for the latter.

Shah had gone missing after he failed to pay first instalment of tax on the Rs 13,860 crore worth undisclosed money, which he had mentioned in the form he had filled under IDS in September.

However, in his interview to the channel on Saturday, Shah had claimed that the money did not belong to him but “to a group of powerful people, who could be politicians, businessmen and officers”.

Shah claimed that he would reveal the names to the I-T officials.

Watching him on live television, the ministry of finance ordered the I-T department to arrest him immediately. Shah had allegedly gone missing ever since the I-T department conducted searches at his residence and office in Ahmedabad on November 29 and 30.

Apparently, a day before his public appearance, Shah’s chartered accountant Tehmul Sethna, a senior partner in the CA firm Apaji Amin & Co LLP in Ahmedabad, had held a media briefing on Friday claiming that his client had filed for declaration of Rs 13860 crore under IDS on September 30, following which the same was approved on October 14 with the IDS official handing out ‘Form 2’ to Shah. As per the Form 2, Shah was supposed to pay the first installment of Rs 1560 crore to the I-T department on basis of 25 per cent of the 45 per cent tax by November 30.

“I am not a fugitive. My family doesn’t know anything related to my work. I had filed the IDS because I had some personal needs. I wanted to pay the first installment, but the people, who owned this money, backed off and complicated the things,” Shah had said during the television interview.

The businessman who is known to deal in real estate raised questions over why the I-T department did not wait till November 30 before conducting searches and cancelled his Form 2 two days before the deadline.

Commenting on his disappearance till Saturday, Shah claimed that he was in Mumbai when the I-T searches were conducted and hence, directly rushed to the TV studio to come clear in front of public.

“Sab bohot jaldi samne aayega. Bohot jaldi doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani ho jayega. (Soon things will be made clear to everyone),” said Shah while seeking support from the government, the I-T department and the media to reveal the true faces behind the amount of Rs 13,860 crore.

Meanwhile, looking to vindicate his CA and family, Shah stated that he wished to clarify that none of them were involved in non-disclosure of the huge money. “I am here only to prove my innocence,” Shah said.


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