After MCA, Income Tax too begins probing Gadkari companies

The I-T department has already started gathering documents related with the 18 companies who had invested in the BJP president related Purti Power and Sugar

Mumbai: After Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), the Income Tax department too has launched a probe to trace the source of funding of various companies that invested in Bhartiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari's company Purti Power and Sugar Ltd (PPSL), reports PTI.


"We will trace the source the funds of the companies including the 18 companies that invested in Purti," a top IT official told PTI on condition of anonymity.


He said prima facie 'shell' companies (inactive firms used as a vehicle for various financial manoeuvres or kept dormant for future use in some other capacity) had pumped money into PPSL.


Sources in the department said a report would be submitted to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) shortly.


"We have already started gathering documents relating to these companies," they said, adding officials in the investigation wing of the department in Mumbai and Pune were involved in the probe.


Officials of the investing companies would be summoned in due course and, if needed, the BJP chief would also be asked to be present, the sources said.


Gadkari is at the centre of a raging controversy over funding of PPSL with media reports claiming that major investments and large loans to Purti were made by Ideal Road Builders (IRB) group, which had won contracts between 1995 and 1999, when the BJP chief was PWD minister in Maharashtra.


Media reports also claimed that shell companies were floated for making investments and their fake addresses were submitted to the Registrar of Companies (RoC).


On Tuesday, Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily had said that Registrars of Companies would inquire into the allegations.


On his part, Gadkari has denied the allegations and said he was prepared for a probe.


Petrol price to go up by 30 paise a litre, diesel 18 paise

The government increased dealer commission on petrol to Rs1.799 per litre and on diesel to Rs1.09 per liter, which in effect would increase petrol and diesel prices by 30 paise and 18 paise, respectively, either from today or tomorrow

New Delhi: Petrol price will be hiked by 30 paise per litre and diesel rate by 18 paise a litre across the country after the Union government decided to increase the commission paid to petrol pump dealers, reports PTI.


The Petroleum Ministry on Thursday decided to increase the dealer commission on petrol from Rs1.499 per litre to Rs1.799 a litre. The same on diesel has been hiked from 91 paise to Rs1.09 a litre, official sources said.


They said the hike would be effective either today or from tomorrow, depending on when the ministry issues a formal letter to oil companies.


Petrol is currently priced at Rs67.90 per litre in Delhi and diesel Rs46.95. After the hike, petrol will cost Rs68.2 per litre and diesel Rs47.13 a litre.


The increase in dealer commission is the first since July 2011. In July, the commission was hiked by 28 paise on petrol and by 15.5 paise on diesel.


Federation of All India Petroleum Traders General Secretary Ajay Bansal said the hike is short of their demand of 67 paise increase in commission on petrol and 42 paise on diesel, considering steep hike in operating cost of a petrol pump.


"A few of our operating costs like running pumps on generators, free services (like air and water) and increase in evaporation, seem to have not been taken into account while calculating the proposed commission," he said.


The Ministry, he said, has assured to look into these in two months time.


The government had earlier this month hiked commission paid to LPG distributors by Rs11.42 per cylinder. Subsidised LPG in Delhi now cost Rs410.42 per cylinder, up from Rs399.


The increase in commission paid to LPG dealers from Rs25.83 per 14.2-kg cylinder to Rs37.25 from 7th October.


Land grab case: Magistrate probe ordered against Kripashankar Singh

The High Court directed the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to conduct an inquiry into the allegations against the former chief of Mumbai Congress and submit a report before the court within two weeks

Mumbai: In fresh trouble for Kripashankar Singh, the Bombay High Court on Thursday ordered a magistrate inquiry against the former Mumbai Congress chief following a petition by a city-based social worker, who has accused the leader of threatening him after usurping his properties, reports PTI.
A division bench of Justices VM Kanade and PD Kode was hearing the petition filed by one Tulsidas Nair alleging that Kripashankar and his son had usurped his properties worth crores and are now threatening to kill him if he doesn't evict his house in suburban Kalina.
According to Nair, Kripashankar usurped several of his properties in Kalina, Vakola and Bandra worth crores. "Since 2007, he (Kripashankar) has been sending his henchmen to my house in Kalina who assaulted and threaten to kill me if I continue my litigation against him," Nair said.
When prosecutor PS Hingorani informed the court that following order from another bench of the High Court an armed constable has been assigned to the petitioner for protection, Nair claimed that the police are hand in glove with the Congress leader.
The Court after perusing certain photographs and documents submitted by Nair directed the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to conduct and inquiry into the allegations and submit a report before the court within two weeks.
Apart from the magistrate, the bench has also directed the State Human Rights Commission to make inquiry into the case.
"If we notice that something is amiss then we will pass strictures against the concerned police and somebody will lose their job," Justice Kanade said.
The court has also directed the Director General of Police (Protection) to assign someone for Nair's protection.
Kripashankar is already facing probe for amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. A special investigation team of the Economic Offences Wing of the city police had registered FIR against Kripashankar following High Court directions.
The direction was passed during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by one Sanjay Tiwari.


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