Investigation directorate teams to look after movement of large sums of cash or other items suspected to be used for bribing of electors; to conduct independent inquiry against such acts
Guwahati: Kavita Jha, the principal chief commissioner of income tax, North East Region (NER), has deputed additional manpower of 116 officers and inspectors of income tax department to the directorate of income tax (Investigation), for the duration of forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Early on Tuesday morning, the investigation wing of NER 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.
Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of 7 states of North East 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 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 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 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 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 lakh to the Nodal Officer of the directorate, Subhrajyoti Bhattacharjee who is also the additional director of income tax (Inv), NER.
The directorate has activated air intelligence units at all airports in North East and will monitor 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.
The 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.