Citizens' Issues
Public Interest Exclusive
The mystery of Rs100 crore donation by Army to PM Relief Fund
PM Modi was seen as receiving Rs100 crore from Army as donation towards PM's Relief Fund. However, a reply received from Army HQ under RTI says no such money was donated 
 
15 January 2015: Prime Minister Narendra Modi (was seen in a photo published by Press Information Bureau -PIB) received a cheque of Rs100 crore from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief General Dalbir Singh towards Prime Minister's Relief Fund on the 67th Army Day. Interestingly, the photograph when enlarged by us shows that it was a mock cheque handed over by the Army Chief. It has no amount mentioned. Instead, it says, “One day’s pay of all ranks of Indian Army”.
 
So what happened to the donation? Was the money donated? Was it collected from Army officers and soldiers and handed over to the PM Relief Fund?
 
20 March 2015: A reply received Right to Information (RTI) Act says the Army has yet to donate Rs100 crore toward the PM Relief Fund!
 
According to a PIB release on 15 January 2015, the Indian Army donated Rs100 crore and the amount was raised by officers and soldiers donating a day's salary each. The cheque of Rs100 crore was handed over to PM Modi by General Dalbir Singh at the traditional 'At Home' at Army House on the 67th Army Day.
 
Dehradun-based Prabhu Dandriyal filed an RTI seeking details about the Rs100 crore donation given by the Army to PM Relief Fund. On 20 March 2015, he received a reply from the RTI Cell of the Army. 
 
The reply sent by Lt Col Rajiv Guleria for Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of Indian Army says, "It has been intimated by concerned agency that no amount on account of contributions from salary of any Army personnel has yet been donated to the Prime Minister Relief Fund. The matter is under consideration."
 
Therefore, the question remains as to whether the PM Relief Fund received Rs100 crore donation by Army or no. There could be three possible scenarios. One, the donation was given, but someone may have forgotten to collect/deposit the actual cheque. Second, the PIO from Army not have received correct information and hence gave incorrect information. Three, the PIO may have given wrong or misleading information.
 
According to Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner and RTI activist, it is impossible for the PIO to provide misleading or wrong information. "However, the PIO may not have realised the impact of this information," he said.

 

User

COMMENTS

CHANDU CHARTIST

2 years ago

cheque become ex date now
show business me sub kuchh chalta hey

Janakiraman Rajalakshmi

2 years ago

Recall kollywood actor kamalhassan & his useless movie 'viswarupam'? For the first time his ultra swagger & ultra arrogance got punctured deservedly. And ample credit to Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa for taking the right stand.

The media gave the same weary explanation maligning Muslims & Islam. Congress party , dmk , art of living "avatard" ssssravishankar included all rallied behind this kollywood lecherous selective atheist cum hedonist kamalhassan. They had their own agendas.

kamalhassan was almost ruined financially. But with the help of siddarth basu , he & his mistress gowthami ( who chucked her husband after giving birth to a daughter in America preferring to "live in" with Sarika's husband kamalhassan...now his daughters & her daughter have all got into the same bollykolly movie industry) orchestrated one such programme on tv whereby both managed to answer all the questions right thus getting a cheque for some CRORES being handed over to them by siddarth basu. Both claimed it would go to "cancer victims". It was going straight into kamalhassan & gowthami's account.Technically she is also a "cancer victim".

No wonder he is back into the same movie making business. Did some "sweeping" with a designer broom to impress Modi. As hemamalini did.

REPLY

PPM

In Reply to Janakiraman Rajalakshmi 2 years ago

Why are you talking unrelated things here?

Janakiraman Rajalakshmi

2 years ago

This article brings to my mind why & how I got drawn to Sucheta Dalal and her opinions several years ago.

Being a woman , a housewife plus nothing but a clerk in a bank never having scored hundred upon hundred in Mathematics , not being "professionally qualified" I was written off by my autocratic brother J.Mohan a chartered accountant married to another chartered accountant called vasudharini now living in Canada London Ontario +15198579333. My (faux) husband S.N.Ramachandran had no problems whatsoever in allying with J.Mohan as he was procured a job in Kuwait in the same AlGhanim Group of Company (Kutaiba & Basam AlGhanim Group) by suppressing the fact both were relatives. The company is strictly against nepotism. However almost all Indians adhered to nothing save nepotism. Keeping the Kuwaiti Owners in the dark. Almost ruined the company & many fled to Canada , America , Australia, India after making their kill.

Newspapers were also denied to me citing my gender & the same reasons cited above. In Calcutta & Kuwait.

Only once I picked up Times Of India ( or Economic Times cannot remember) & started reading some article by Sucheta Dalal. It had no jargon.
But enormous amounts of COMMON SENSE.

My nature being what it is , I started praising Sucheta Dalal & this perturbed J.Mohan tremendously. So much so he never missed an opportunity to badmouth Sucheta Dalal. He thought he being a chartered accountant cum cfo of some company automatically conferred on him the authority to assess others writing on corporate matters , finance , economics etc.

When a computer was purchased & it took some years for me to gain access to it. Only once I sent an email to her. I was so surprised to receive a prompt reply from Sucheta Dalal. I did not have a private email. So deleted it at once.

I am very gratified to see COMMON SENSE which is not at all common is very much there present till date in the same Sucheta Dalal.

Anil Agashe

2 years ago

This is very strange. BJP ministers are gloating saying have you seen any scam in last one year. They should realise scams take time. They have enough potential scamsters in their rank. Gadkari is a big scam. So they better be careful. They have done a smart U turn on many things that they said a year before the 2014 elections! India cannot afford scams by her ruling class.

Trivedi Committee exposes Railways’ false claims on duplicate compensation
The Parliamentary Standing Committee said that the number of duplicate claims over past 10 years is merely 0.5% and till date, no loss to the Government Exchequer has been reported by the Railways in such cases 
 
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways headed by former Minister Dinesh Trivedi has exposed the hollowness in Railways’ contention on higher number of duplicate claims for compensations by accident victims. The Railways citing higher number of duplicate compensation claims in its Statement of Objects and Reasons in the Railways (Amendment) Bill, 2014 has been seeking changes in the provisions under Section 109 of the Railways Act. 
 
"...the Committee are greatly dismayed to find that there is an absolute disconnect between the reasons put forward by the Railways to amend Section 109 of the Railways Act, 1989, and the relevant statistics made available by them to the Committee. For instance, the number of cases of duplicate claims is merely 0.5% of the total number of cases of compensation claims filed during the last 10 years. The Committee are also surprised to notice that till date, no loss to the Government Exchequer has been reported by the Railways on account of compensation given in duplicate or fraudulent cases, which starkly contradict the Statement of Objects and Reasons given in the Railways (Amendment) Bill, 2014," the Committee in its report submitted in the Parliament said.
 
The change was proposed by the Railways to prevent filing of large number of duplicate cases of compensation claims in different benches of Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT), and as a safeguard, the provisions regarding Railway administration against which application for compensation for personal injury are to be filed, were made under section 109 of the Railways Act, 1989.
 
The Railways informed the Committee that total number of cases of compensation claims filed during the last 10 years (2004-05 to 2013-14) for death or injury of passengers in train accidents was 1,920 and in untoward incidents was 63,096. Against this, only 327 cases of duplicate claims have been detected by the RCT Benches.
 
"The Committee are, therefore, of the firm conviction that there is no need to amend Section 109 of the Railway Act, 1989 as the reasoning given by Railways to amend this Section does not cut ice and is fraught with contradictions," the report says.
 
The Railways (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (Annexure III) was introduced in Lok Sabha on 11 August 2014 and was referred to the Standing Committee on Railways on 16 September 2014 by the Lok Sabha Speaker.
 
Considering the wide ramifications of the Bill, the Committee decided to invite Memoranda containing suggestions, comments and views from the public and from individuals, NGOs, experts, stakeholders and institutions in particular on various provisions of the Bill.
 
During a meeting with the Committee, the Samir Zaveri Railway Helpline of Moneylife Foundation opposed the amendments related with redefining 'accidental falling', which aims to put entire blame on the commuter and 'compensation' paid to victims or her family, in Railways (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
 
The Ministry of Railways, through the Railways (Amendment) Bill, 2014, has been seeking to amend Sections 109 and 123 and to insert a new Section 124B in the Railways Act, 1989, which mainly relates to provision of compensation to Railway accident victims. 
 
The existing provision of Section 109 of the Railways Act, 1989 entail that an application before the Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT) for compensation for the loss of life or personal injury to a passenger, may be instituted against the Railway administration from which the passenger obtained pass or purchased ticket, or the Railway administration from which the passenger station lies or the loss or personal injury occurred. 
 
While making changes vide the Railways (Amendment) Bill, 2014, the Railways have proposed to add a proviso to the effect that the Railway administration where the loss of life or personal injury to a passenger occurs shall be made a party, amongst others, if any, before the Railway Claims Tribunal. The reason given by the Railways for the proposed change is to prevent filing of a large number of duplicate cases of compensation claims in different Benches of the Railway Claims Tribunal.
 

User

Tax Tentacles – 2: How They Suffocate Us
Cumbersome forms, adding non-taxable items, modifying the computation and denying legitimate deductions by raising disputes, flawed appeals and revisions -- multiple tentacles squeeze the assesse. This is second part of a multi-part series adapted from Justice S Rangarajan Memorial Lecture in Bangalore delivered recently
 
The first tentacle takes the form of income tax returns, which require disclosure of all income on pain of penalty and prosecution for concealment. Full confession is expected because the department has no way of getting full information about sources of income. Even if they do, they still want the confession. Their advertisements say, “We know you bought a house and you will face penalty for not returning the income used for the purchase” (http://goo.gl/6MLTqP). The logo on the form states: ‘KOSH MULO DAND’, which appears to mean paying tax is punishment. These words are part of the original Sanskrit phrase as appearing in Kautiliya’s Arthshastra meaning: “revenue is the backbone of administration”.
 
Filling the form itself is a pain. The US income tax form 1040 says, 'Check this box if you are blind.' The form is so powerful that it will miraculously give you sight to check the box!
 
The next tentacle reaches out with the power to search and seize and to collect data about income. The power to search is a tool for gathering data but the processing of that data lead to unexpected results. 
 
I remember a case of a Hindu undivided family (HUF) of 10 brothers in a village in Orissa where the wives were found to be wearing jewelry of Rs1 lakh each. The Wealth Tax Officer concluded that they had concealed Rs10 lakh of wealth in a year and since he can reopen assessments for 10 years, the total wealth concealed was one crore and as, at the time, the penalty for concealment was equal to the wealth concealed, he imposed penalty of Rs1 crore apart from the tax and interest for delay. 
 
The Commissioner (Appeals) had himself cancelled it. In those days, the Appeal Commissioners were quite fair. However, the Wealth Tax officer appealed and we dismissed the appeal, as it was streedhan from their parents and did not belong to the HUF. 
 
In another case, nothing was found in the search but the income tax officer insisted that the assessee, a well respected doctor, should confess that he had concealed the interest of about Rs200, which had accrued on National Savings Certificate (NSC) that he thought was taxable only when the certificate matured, because the department cannot close a search case without finding some concealed income. 
 
Even when the income is returned, further tentacles surround the assessee while making assessments by adding non-taxable items, modifying the computation and denying legitimate deductions by raising disputes such as… 
 
the status of the assessee
whether a receipt is taxable income or non-taxable capital
whether the income has accrued though not received
whether an asset is properly valued
Whether income is concealed even though particulars are disclosed
and, of course, denial or delay of refunds.
  
The provision of appeals and revisions is only to maintain an error free administration. However, in the case of taxation, the remedies are worse than the disease. We originally had a departmental appeal and an independent appeal to the Tribunal, which was final on facts and a reference to the High Court on questions of law. The department was upset that errors were being corrected often by the independent Tribunal and so changed the reference to appeal and also restricted the powers of the Tribunal to give interim relief. The Supreme Court has just concluded hearing the case against setting up the National Tax Tribunal, which in my opinion actually corrupted the constitution. It will take years to decide the pending cases and even if the error is corrected, it may not be final.
 
 
Tomorrow: Part3- How Delay Undermines the System
 
(Justice TNC Rangarajan is a former judge of Madras and Andhra Pradesh High Courts. Earlier, for more than 20 years, he was a Judicial Member of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.)

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)