On Sunday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hit out at Congress leader P Chidambaram over the chargesheets filed against him for allegedly failing to disclose foreign assets and dared Congress president Rahul Gandhi to act against him.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who is himself out on bail should come out and tell us if he is going to investigate this case involving one of his leaders: Smt @nsitharaman https://t.co/WRg1W367M4 || https://t.co/Vqy6bKYSW3 #BlackMoneyOfPC
— BJP (@BJP4India) May 13, 2018
At a press conference held in BJP's central office in New Delhi, Sitharaman said this was 'Congress' Nawaz Sharif moment' — referring to the former Pakistan prime minister's ouster from public office in 2017 following his conviction in the undisclosed foreign assets case — and said that Rahul, who is out on bail in the National Herald case, should make it clear if he is going to act as head of the Congress.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Sitharaman said Chidambaram, his wife Nalini, son Karti and daughter-in-law Srinidhi along with a firm linked to Karti — Chess Global — have been accused of not revealing, either partly or fully, immovable assets worth Rs 5.37 crore, property worth Rs 80 lakh in the United Kingdom and assets worth Rs 3.28 crore in the United States.
As per a report in NewsX, Sitharaman, recalling her government’s stance over black money said, “In pursuit of black money, time was given to disclose the assets and bring them to public notice. If convicted, the Act will levy 120 percent tax and penalty on the undisclosed assets and income. And when proven guilty, it will invite jail term".
Sitharaman accused Chidambaram of not disclosing his investments to the tax authorities from 2009 and said he has now been charged with violating the black money law, which was brought by Modi government as part of its drive against black money and to prosecute those Indians who have secretly stashed illicit wealth abroad, according to a News18 report.
Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah also took to Twitter to target Chidambaram: "Under the black money Act, four chargesheets have been filed against P Chidambaram and his family for possessing and operating several illegal assets and accounts in foreign countries. I-T estimates illegal assets held by UPA's finance minister to be to the tune of three billion dollars."
"This explains why despite Supreme Court's orders Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and then finance minister P Chidambaram dragged their feet on formation of SIT, one of the first decisions taken by Modi government to fight black money! How could they indict their own selves?" Shah further tweeted in a scathing attack on the Opposition.
Chidambaram who has been charged with non-disclosure of his foreign assets and irregularities in Income-Tax returns over several years, said on Friday that all allegations against him and his family are "baseless". Chidambaram's son Karti is an accused in the Aircel-Maxis deal and the INOX Media case and has been charged with of money laundering and corruption.
The Income Tax Department issued four chargesheets against Chidambaram’s wife Nalini, son Karti and his wife Srinidhi under Section 50 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, on 11 May, 2018, in a Chennai city court and the family members have been summoned by the department for questioning on 11 June.
Updated Date: May 13, 2018 16:06 PM