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Published On: Sun, Dec 4th, 2016

Black Money Belongs To Politicians, Babus: Gujarat Biz Man: Mahesh Shah

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mahesh-shah_650x400_61480735425AHMEDABAD :  Mahesh Shah, the Ahmedabad-based businessman, who had gone missing last month after declaring black money worth Rs. 13,860 crore in September, told the income tax officials today that he was just a front for the unaccounted money which belongs to many people including politicians, bureaucrats and builders.

The 67-year-old was questioned for nearly seven hours and was only allowed to leave on health grounds. He has been asked to report again tomorrow for further questioning.”We carried out the first round of questioning and since he was feeling unwell and wanted a break we let him go. But he has been asked to report back tomorrow for further questioning,” said senior tax official PC Modi.

Mahesh Shah, a low-profile real estate dealer, had in September sprung a surprise when he made a disclosure of Rs. 13,860 crore of unaccounted money under the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) – which provides immunity to those who declare and pay the required tax on their hidden income. However his declaration along with another worth a stunning Rs. 2 lakh crore was rejected by the Finance Ministry and is being investigated, the government said today.
Mr Shah reportedly went missing a few days before the November 30 deadline for depositing 25 per cent of the disclosed amount.He appeared on a local news channel on Sunday and in an interview claimed that the money was not his and had been given to him by politicians.
“It is not my money. The money belongs to various people including politicians, babus and builders,” he told ETV Gujarati.After his interview, he was taken away by the police and tax officials from the TV studios to an undisclosed location for questioning.Income Tax officials have also searched Mr Shah’s home and office, along with the residence of his chartered accountant Tehmul Sethna who had helped him with the disclosures.

Sources in IT department revealed that during the first round of questioning he was grilled about the documents recovered from his residence and his accountant’s office. Sources said the department was trying to ascertain the exact nature of his financial and business dealings.

Police personnel have been deployed at Mr Shah’s residence in Jodhpur Char Rasta area after he said his family had been threatened.

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