Karnataka raids: I-T dept seeks legal action against CM, Dy CM

Bengaluru: Amidst the on going I-T raids at several political leaders’ residences in Karnataka, legal action has been sought by income tax department against the Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and several other ministers of the ruling coalition government for allegedly intimidating tax officers.

The department has alleged that the party leaders and workers obstructed them from discharging their duties. On 5 April, B R Balakrishnan, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, issued a letter, which stated, “Reports in electronic media depict that the protest was led by chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, Ministers D K Shivakumar and S R Mahesh, former home minister Ramalinga Reddy, Dinesh Gundu Rao, MLA and KPCC president. This was followed by specific statements including personal allegations against the director general of income tax by Ministers H D Revanna and C S Puttaraju.”

He further stated in his letter that when people holding high public offices make false statements and involve in criminal activities it would adversely affect the process of the government officials from carrying out their duties. And so cases should be registered against all those who took part in the protests for unlawful assembly, intentional insult, breach of peace, statements conducing to public mischief, criminal intimidation, obstructing public servant from discharging their duties and threat of injury to public servant under IPC sections 143, 504, 505, 506, 186 and 189, Balakrishnan said in his letter.

On 28 March, when raids were in progress across Karnataka, former chief minister Siddaramaiah and several other party workers staged a demonstration near the income tax office and they even accused the Centre of using central agencies, such and income tax department, enforcement directorate and CBI, to intimidate the opposition. About 15 to 20 locations came under the IT radar and triggered widespread condemnation and protests by ruling coalition government in the State.

The raids since 28 March fetched unaccounted cash of Rs 8.14 crore and unaccounted jewellery worth Rs 1.69 crore, the department stated in the letter adding that no MLA, MLC or minister was searched in the said proceedings.

NT Bureau