In a massive development that is going to hurt the Congress, Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra has once again come under the scanner for financial irregularities. He seems to have landed in trouble even as the income tax department has pointed out grave irregularities in Vadra’s Sky Light Hospitality LLP. Republic TV has accessed the 25-page income tax notice as well as the financial assessment order of the department. It has been reporting on the issue extensively.
The income tax department has determined that a sum of Rs. 25.8 crores is payable in the form of tax by Sky Light Hospitality for the assessment year 2010-11. A plethora of irregularities have emerged in the working of Sky Light Hospitality. As per the income tax order, the company had declared an income of Rs. 36.9 lakhs for the assessment year 2010-11, whereas on revaluation of income, it has been determined as Rs. 42.98 crore. Therefore, less than 1% of the total income was declared. As a result, the tax payable has been revised to Rs. 25.8 crores.
Vadra’s company has also come under the scanner due to unexplained sources of income. While questioning the company’s sources of income, the department stated that there were “several transactions” in which the sources of income were unexplained, including a transaction of Rs. 35 crore between between Sky Light Hospitality and Saket courtyard in 2009 and transaction of Rs. 72 lakhs to purchase land in Bikaner.
In another transaction by Sky Light which appears to be fraudulent, the company entered into an agreement with DLF to purchase land at Amipur. However, no land was procured but the funds obtained from DLF were used to make payments to M/s Omkareshwar Properties of Rs. 7.95 crore. Apart from this, the income tax department claims that DLF granted a loan of Rs. 5 crore to Sky Light for obtaining license for land procured in Shikohpur. However, one cannot help but wonder why DLF was sponsoring Vadra’s company.
In yet another shocking detail that has emerged, the assessment order states that Vadra’s company was suffering from shortage of funds. However, even then the company purchased land though it did not have sufficient funds to purchase the same. This raises serious aspersions about the propriety of Sky Light’s transactions.
The Congress has been left red-faced over how Robert Vadra has been exposed yet again. Congress which is clearly on the backfoot over the entire issue has distanced itself from the issue of Vadra’s undisclosed income. Congress spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala played the ‘private citizen’ card and stated that questions about the income tax order must be directed at Vadra’s lawyers. The Congress is clearly trying to run away from irregularities in Vadra’s companies.
How Robert Vadra had managed to indulge in financial irregularities with impunity was one of the major reasons behind Congress’ debacle in 2014. It seems that the ghosts of financial mismanagement in its last tenure have come back to haunt the Congress. This income tax order is going to have significant political ramifications as far as the 2019 elections are concerned, and it seems that the Congress has already suffered irreversible damage by this development.