Not Just Wife, Lavasa’s Sister & Son Also Under I-T Dept Scanner

Ashok Lavasa is the Election Commissioner who disagreed with giving PM Modi clean chit for alleged MCC violation.

Updated
India
2 min read
File image of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa
i

Three members of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s family – his wife, sister and son – are under the Income Tax Department’s scanner, reported The Indian Express, on Wednesday, 25 September.

Lavasa was one of the three commissioners in the Election Commission who had opposed the clean chit given by the body to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former BJP President Amit Shah on charges of violating the Model Code of Conduct during the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaigning.

While Lavasa’s wife Novel Singhal Lavasa came under the scanner on charges of alleged tax evasion in August 2019, his sister Shakuntala Lavasa was also issued notice the same month.

His son Abir Lavasa was also issued a notice, after the department surveyed the books of Nourish Organic Foods Ltd, a company in which he is the director and holds 10,000 share, the report added.

WHAT ARE THE CHARGES AGAINST THEM?

Novel Lavasa was issued a notice by the department to explain certain details in her I-T Returns (ITR) with regard to holding directorship in about 10 companies, officials told PTI. The officials said after preliminary investigation, the tax department has asked her to provide more documents related to her personal finances.

The probe into alleged tax evasion and holding of directorship in multiple firms against the former banker pertains to a time period between 2015 and 2017, they added.

Shakuntala Lavasa, a paediatrician by profession, was issued a notice over the purchase of a house owned by the Lavasa couple in Gurugram, worth Rs 1.86 crore, in 2017-2018.

The IT department has pointed to two “suspicious transactions” dating 2008-2009 and 2010, The Indian Express reported.

“A notice, directed to Nourish Organic, was issued by the I-T department. A survey was conducted into the company’s books of accounts in August first week. The department has not sent anything since then.”
Abir Lavasa to the newspaper

NOVEL LAVASA’S STATEMENT

Novel Lavasa issued a statement on 23 September stating she has paid all due taxes on her income.  "There have been reports in certain sections of the media about income tax notices (issued to me) regarding discrepancies in tax returns filed by me.

“It is stated that I have paid all taxes due towards me and disclosed all income earned by me from pension, and all other sources as per Income Tax law.”
Novel Lavasa

It is clarified, she added, that having served as a class I officer with State Bank of India for 28 years and having acquired vast experience in banking and development, "I continue to be engaged in various professional activities, including as independent director in a few companies".

"I have replied to all I-T notices received since 5 August, 2019 and have been cooperating with the ongoing process of the department," she said.

Ashok Lavasa was appointed election commissioner on 23 January 2018, after he retired as the Union Finance Secretary the previous year.

His difference of opinion, with regard to the implementation of the model code of conduct (MCC), with Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra was reported during the recently-concluded parliamentary election.

(With inputs from PTI)

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