Court summons businessman for not giving Swiss bank details

NEW DELHI, Jan 17: A 76-year-old businessman has been summoned as accused in a black money case by a Delhi court for allegedly attempting to evade tax and not disclosing details of his Swiss bank account for two financial years.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pritam Singh took cognisance of two separate complaints filed by the Income Tax (I-T) Department against Krishan Lal Madhok saying prima facie offence was made out against him under provisions of IT Act.
Madhok, a resident of Chattarpur in South Delhi, has been directed to appear in the court on February 24 in two complaints filed against him for assessment years 2006-07 and 2007-08.
“Complainant has filed the complaints for offence under sections 276C(1) (willful attempts to evade any tax) and 277 (false statement in verification) of IT Act for the assessment years 2006-07 and 2007-08 with identical allegations against the accused.
“Complaints perused along with documents attached with the same. Perusal of complaints and materials available on record, prima facie discloses commission of offence under 276C(1) and 277 of the IT Act for the relevant assessment year. Hence cognizance of the offence is taken… Let accused be summoned for February 24,” the court said.
According to the I-T department, it had received information that Madhok was having an account with HSBC Bank in Geneva with peak credit balance of USD 4,61,810 (Rs 2.05 crore) for the financial year 2005-06.
Regarding the assessment year 2007-08, the complaint said that in February 2007, the balance in his foreign bank account was USD 5,02,652, out of which USD 4,61,810 for the previous financial year 2005-06. The remaining USD 40,842 (Rs 18.5 lakh) was for assessment year 2007-08.
A search was carried out in August 2011 at the residence and office of the accused and Madhok’s statement was recorded.
He was confronted after which he agreed of having foreign undisclosed income in bank account and expressed willingness to pay tax on the amount, the complaint said.
The complaint alleged that Madhok, however, said he had no knowledge of the foreign bank account as his late wife was managing the business as the proprietor of M/s Indian Artwares Corporation since 1970 till her death in 2005. Later, the business was converted in partnership firm and Madhok became a partner.
It said the exporter paid Rs 65.42 lakh tax in November 2011 but has not sent consent letter to enable the department to procure details of undisclosed foreign bank account to arrive at his true taxable income.
A notice was issued to him to give statement of foreign bank account but he denied having the details in 2013, the complaint said, adding that a show cause notice was then issued for launching prosecution against him under the IT Act to which he replied but it was found unsatisfactory.
The department said a penalty of nearly Rs 70 lakh was also levied on him last June.
“It clearly shows that as per the information received and admission of accused having account with HSBC Bank, Geneva, which was not declared/disclosed in his return of income willfully and accused has thus attempted to evade tax and committed the offence. Accused by making false statement in verification, which he knew to be false, committed an offence under the IT Act,” it said. (PTI)