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CBDT apprises CEC of I-T action against Lavasa family

The CBDT has recently written to CEC Sunil Arora with details on the alleged income tax evasions by Lavasa’s family members. IT notices have been issued to Lavasa’s wife and son.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 13, 2019, 07.23 AM IST
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Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa.
NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is believed to have apprised the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) in detail on the actions it has initiated against the family members of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa.

ET has reliably learnt that the CBDT has recently written to CEC Sunil Arora with details on the alleged income tax evasions by Lavasa’s family members. IT notices have been issued to Lavasa’s wife and son.

Those familiar with the details told ET that the CBDT has sent at least two communiques to the CEC over the past two months on the subject.

These, sources said, contain two detailed reports on alleged tax evasions by Lavasa’s wife Novel Lavasa and son Abir Lavasa.

The reports allegedly refer to allegations of favourable treatment to certain private companies when Lavasa served in senior positions in the Centre between 2014 and 2017. The CBDT is learnt to have cited a ‘Tax Evasion Petition’ that it had received on the matter.

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CEC Arora did not respond to ET’s queries on the issue despite repeated attempts.

CBDT Chairman P C Mody also did not respond.The CEC is the only one who can initiate any action against an EC, including recommending removal to the President under Article 324(5) of the Constitution.

Lavasa is due to be appointed CEC in April 2021, once the current CEC Arora’s term comes to an end.

While Novel Lavasa is under the IT scanner for alleged discrepancies in her IT returns in regard to her directorship in ten companies, son Abir Lavasa’s firm Nourish Organics has come under scrutiny over investments that came from Mauritius.

Novel Lavasa had denied the allegations in a statement in September 2019 saying she had "paid all taxes due towards me and disclosed all income earned by me from pension, and all other sources as per Income Tax law”. The Election Commission ran into controversy during the course of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with Lavasa registering his dissent on decisions related to model code violation complaints. Lavasa even refused to attend Commission meetings involving model code violation complaints unless his dissenting view was recorded in the final EC decision.

The Commission finally ruled that as per legal position and precedents, the Commission is required to only state the majority decision and not record the minority or dissenting view as Lavasa had sought.

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