IT dept initiates probe in 100 crore coal mining scam in Punjab

IT dept initiates probe in 100 crore coal mining scam in Punjab

CHANDIGARH,July21: The income tax department has initiated a probe into the recent auction of mining sites in Punjab and asked the state government to furnish details of mode of payment and bank accounts held by former employees of power and irrigation minister Rana Gurjeet.

TOI has accessed two letters by the investigation wing of I-T Chandigarh to the Punjab government. The subject line of the letter is “alleged irregularities in auction of sand mines”.

A letter from Lalit Bishnoi, deputy director of income tax (investigations), to the director of mining Amit Dhaka, says, “Whereas your attendance is required in connection with the proceedings under the income tax Actwealth tax Act in case of alleged irregularities in auction of sand mines. ” The letter said, “You are here by required personally to at tend office at Aayakar Bhawan, sector 2Panchkula to give evidence and proof through authorised representative the books of accounts and or other documents specified below.”

The department has sought the bank account details and source of money deposited by Gurjeet’s four ex-employees Kulwinder Paul, Balraj Singh, Gurvinder Singh and Amit Bahadur. The notice seeks details regarding four quarries at Mehadipur, Bairsal, Rampur Kalan and Saidpur Khurd.

While Rampur Kalan quarry is located in Mohali, the other three sites are in Nawanshahr.

I-T officials have already pointed out that a common source had deposited the money for all the four ex-employees of the minister.According to bank transaction records, copies of which are with TOI, one Sahil Singla has deposited the first tranche of money for the auction bidding for the four men from his Kotak Mahidnra bank account 9211334539. The amount deposited by Singla include Rs 8.3 lakh for Paul, Rs 3.4 lakh for Balraj, Rs 8.9 lakh for Bahadur and Rs 17.61 lakh for Gurvinder.

All of them used the domain email address to correspond with the Punjab mining department and inform them on the RTGS transactions for winning the auction sites.

Incidentally , Kansal Singla and Associates has been the chartered accountants for all firms owned by Gurjeet and his sons, including Rana Sugars Limited and Rana Polycot.

While Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had ordered an inquiry into the scam by a retired Punjab and Haryana high court judge, the Opposition had called it an eyewash.