New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday appeared before the Income Tax Department which questioned him for over three hours at the Central Revenue Building here in connection with a tax evasion probe against certain Kolkata-based firms.
Afterwards, Jain slammed the I-T department's move to summon him as "a witness" and said he was the Centre's "latest victim of vendetta politics".
He said the allegations against him do not hold water as he had made all the necessary disclosures in his I-T returns and election affidavits.
"It is a conspiracy to malign my political career," Jain told reporters in a press conference at the Aam Aadmi Party office after his appearance, that lasted from around 12 noon to a little over 3 pm.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh termed Jain's summoning as "harassment" and emphasised the party and the government "stand by him".
The I-T department had last month asked Jain, a key member of the AAP Cabinet, to appear before the Investigating Officer of the case on 4 October and furnish personal financial details and ITRs for the last four years.
Jain, who worked as an architect before joining politics, arrived at the I P Estate office accompanied by party leaders Singh and Ashutosh around 12 noon.
The I-T department had reportedly recovered documents relating to some transactions being made by at least three Kolkata-based firms and had a link to Jain.
He said the investments in the three firms were done when he was still in architecture.
He said at present, he is neither a director nor a shareholder in these companies and has no connection with them since July 2013.
"They failed to answer as to why I was summoned. They are projecting me as a hawala trader. I wonder whether the media prepared the questions I was asked by the I-T department or vice-versa. I was surprised when they asked me about persons whom I never met and spoke to in my entire life," he said.
However, the day had its share of drama in the form of a slipper attack against Jain, Singh and Ashutosh just as they were leaving the I-T office.
Bhavana Arora, who had staged an ink attack on Arvind Kejriwal in January, hurled a slipper at the AAP leaders which hit their car. She was upset over Kejriwal's remarks on cross-LoC anti-terror surgical strikes by the army.
The I-T department officials had claimed they have received records of certain financial transactions connected to Jain after their counterparts in Kolkata recently searched a firm in connection with a tax evasion and alleged illegal financial remittances case.