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Health Minister, ex-MP grilled by Income Tax over cash-for-vote scam

The Income Tax investigation officials on Monday grilled State Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar, actor-politician Sarath Kumar and former AIADMK MP Chitlapakkam Rajendran.

Health Minister, ex-MP grilled by Income Tax over cash-for-vote scam
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Health Minister Vijaya Baskar arrives at the I-T Investigation office in Nungambakkam

Chennai

Income Tax sources told DTNext that among the three, Vijaya Baskar faced a barrage of questions from the deputy directors of investigation at the I-T Investigation office in Nungambakkam. 

The I-T officials wanted to know the source of Rs 89,65,80,000 mentioned in a document seized furing raids at Vijaya Baskar’s house.which was reportedly distributed in RK Nagar. “Vijaya Baskar who did not cooperate, refused to divulge details regarding the money. The three maintained that they were not involved in distributing cash to voters. However, we have gathered enough evidence to prove that cash was distributed by them,” an IT official said. 

The official also said that they wanted to know whether the money was earlier declared to the Income Tax department. The officials quizzed Vijaya Baskar to know the source of the money and the person who had handed the amount to him. 

I-T officials further said once they complete the investigation, they will hand over the evidence to an I-T assessing officer. “He will first assess the tax to be paid, the penalty to be imposed and then the prosecution. Since this is a quasi-judicial process, it would take up to five years,” the official added. 

“We will conduct further interrogation with the Minister and others. We do not expect any co-operation from them. But we will work as per the evidence that we have collected,” the official said.

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