Guwahati, March 12, 2019
The Investigation Wing of Income Tax, North East Region (NER) on March 12th, 2019 issued deployment orders of 157 officials who will spread over Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura to monitor election expenditure and flow of black money across 112 districts during the Lok Sabha election time, a press communiqué stated.
The principal chief commissioner of Income Tax, North East Region (NER), Kavita Jha informed that the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of seven states of Northeast have been officially intimated about the deployment.
“This deployment is under directions of Election Commission of India (ECI) to Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in a bid to throttle the flow of black money to influence elections since black money vitiates the purity of election process, according to ECI. The Investigation Directorate teams will monitor the movement of large sums of cash or other items suspected to be used for bribing of electors and on the basis of information or complaint, will conduct an independent enquiry against any person indulging in such acts. They will also verify affidavits declaring assets and liabilities filed by the candidates before ECI and election expenses by any candidate or political party,” the communiqué stated.
As per the communiqué, the Investigation Directorate will also report to the Commission about the political parties which are taking donations and enjoying tax exemptions in the poll-bound states without filing the statutory returns.
Banks are also required to pass on information about withdrawal of more than Rs. 10 lakhs to the Nodal Officer of the Directorate, Subhrajyoti Bhattacharjee, additional director of Income Tax (Inv), NER. The Directorate has activated Air Intelligence Units at all airports in Northeast and will monitor the movement of cash or valuables. State authorities and police are also required to report movement of any suspicious cash to the I-T authorities. Principal Director of Income Tax (Inv) for NER, Sanjay Bahadur has issued instructions for heightened surveillance and intelligence gathering during elections. Investigation Directorate authorities can enter and search any building, place, vessel or aircraft if it is suspected that any unaccounted money, bullion, jewellery or other valuable article or thing is to be found there and seize the same under section 132 of Income Tax Act, the communiqué stated.