Only 5% Of The Accused Have Been Convicted In 2,700 I-T Raids In The Last 4 Years
In fact, there have been nearly 55 raids in the recent past by agencies under the Finance Ministry.
- On April 7th, the Income Tax Department launched pre-dawn raids on 52 locations, including some in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. These raids were conducted against close aides of MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath and others were charged with tax evasion and hawala transactions. By April 10th, officials had unearthed unaccounted cash worth Rs 30 crore.
- In a more recent episode, the I-T department conducted searches on the residence of a person working with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP)’s, namely Jayadev Galla—also the richest Lok Sabha candidate—late in the evening on April 10th. They found Rs 45.4 lakh of unaccounted cash.
These are just two in a string of raids conducted on people considered close to opposition parties. In fact, there have been nearly 55 raids in the recent past by agencies under the Finance Ministry.
And, in the last six months, at least 15 such searches by the Income-Tax department have been carried out—five in Karnataka, three in Tamil Nadu, two in Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one each in Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh saw a couple of raids against Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s Chairman and TDP nominee for Mydukur Assembly constituency, Putta Sudhakar Yadav and TDP leader and businessman, CM Ramesh.
On March 29th, the I-T department carried out searches in Tamil Nadu at the premises of DMK Treasurer and Katpadi MLA, Durai Murugan and institutions run by his son, DM Kathir Anand.
Data, however, shows that most of these I-T raids didn’t necessarily result in convictions. In fact, in the last four years, the department conducted 2,718 search and seizure operations, but only 38 people were convicted. This makes up only about 5% of the total raids.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 10th spoke of the raids and said this was hard evidence of the Congress’ corruption.
“Congress has taken food from the mouths of poor children to fill the stomachs of its leaders. It has stolen money meant for pregnant women. .. First it made Karnataka an ATM for itself. Now it has made an ATM in Madhya Pradesh. Congress comes to power only to loot people,” he said at a rally in Junagarh, Gujarat.
Several opposition leaders have alleged that the I-T raids are being conducted at the behest of the BJP. Congress leader Ahmed Patel, on April 9th, said that the raids showed the “desperation” in the ruling party.
Congress' Ahmed Patel on I-T raids: I visited him (SM Moin at whose home raids were held). If my staff doesn't come to office the entire day, of course I'll get worried. Targeting competitors is their (BJP) modus operandi. They're misusing agencies, these are tactics to win polls pic.twitter.com/ngbrcP62ko— ANI (@ANI) April 9, 2019
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and AP chief minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, on April 10th, staged a sit-in in front of the EC office in the state secretariat complex at Amaravati to protest the raids.
“This is nothing short of fascism and it smacks of an emergency-like situation. Modi is trying to influence the elections by selectively targeting the TDP leaders in Andhra Pradesh,” Galla, who contests the Lok Sabha polls in AP today, said.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) summoned the revenue secretary AB Pandey and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman PC Moody on April 9th inquiring why it wasn’t informed about the recently conducted raids.