IANS/ New Delhi
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that the diary pages from what has come to be known as the ‘Yeddy diaries’ – because of the alleged link with former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa – and the loose papers given to the team that raided Congress leader D K Shivakumar’s premises in 2017 could not pass the forensic test as they were “not original”.
The CBDT’s statement came after a media report titled ‘The Yeddy Diaries’ published by news magazine The Caravan alleged that Yeddyurappa paid Rs18bn to some top BJP leaders – including veterans L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari.
The rebuttal, which comprised statements made by Shivakumar and Yeddyurappa on documents seized from the Congress leader during IT searches, was extraordinary for its length and the details it contained.
Shivakumar had told the investigators that this was a copy of a diary, written by Yeddyurappa, and payments were made on behalf of the leader (Yeddyurappa) to legislators, and received from various leaders, MLAs, ministers when they were in power.
Shivakumar further said, in his statement to the income-tax authorities, that the handwriting on the loose sheets could be of Yeddyurappa.
The department said a search action under Section 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 had been carried out on Shivakumar and a group of cases on August 2, 2017, by the Income Tax investigation directorate of Karnataka and Goa. A large amount of incriminating material against Shivakumar and his company was found.
“During the search, some loose papers were given to the raiding party. This was a copy of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, Legislator’s Diary pages of 2009 with details of entries against some individuals. The original of these documents was never given,” a CBDT statement said.
The statement made no reference to the amounts allegedly paid to the politicians that were highlighted in The Caravan report.
On being asked as to how he came into possession of the said loose sheets, the statement said: “Shivakumar stated that, being a politician, he procures information about other parties, leaders and members and as the said loose sheets contained political information he could not disclose the source of information.
“Further, he also stated that he keeps getting such information from the general public.”
Shivakumar added he did not know the time period in which the said transactions had taken place and that he did not have the originals of the said loose sheets.
In response to the question on why the said matter was not brought to the notice of the ACB (anti-corruption branch) or Lokayukta of Karnataka, Shivakumar told the income-tax authorities that as “he did not know about the genuineness of the documents” he did not inform the same to the enforcement agencies.
“Yeddyurappa was confronted with the seized material and statements of Shivakumar on November 25, 2017. He stated he was not in the habit of writing a dairy and that the loose sheets in question were not in his handwriting. Yeddyurappa also denied his handwriting and signatures on the loose sheets,” the CBDT statement said.
Also, as the handwriting did not belong to him, the former chief minister told officials that he could not have any knowledge about the contents of the loose sheets.
Yeddyurappa further stated that the contents of the loose sheets were false and fabricated and his name was being used to malign his political career, the CBDT statement said.
The CBDT said that on April 18, 2018, an enquiry was made to the director, Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), directorate of forensics science services, ministry of home affairs, government of India, Amberpet Post, Ramanthapur, Hyderabad, Telangana to have the signatures verified.
“In response, CFSL, Hyderabad replied on April 24, 2018, that the examination of handwriting and signatures had been carried out in the said laboratory and the originals of the disputed documents needed to be sent. No originals were given by D K Shivakumar.
“It is clear that for a forensic analysis of the disputed writings to establish its evidentiary value, originals of the same are required. All efforts have been made by the income tax office concerned to procure the originals of the disputed writings. However, the details about the place and custody of the original writings and, if the original writings exist, are not available.
“The same loose sheets prima facie appear to be of a doubtful nature and were given by the person who was being raided for tax violations,” said the statement.
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