Ahmedabad: City-based property dealer Mahesh Shah, who made a sensational claim that he was used as a front to declare Rs 13,860 crore under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS), was allowed to go home this morning after night-long interrogation by senior I-T personnel.
Officials said the process of recording his statement is likely to continue tomorrow even as city police deployed two guards outside his residence apprehending security threat. "Shah's statement has been recorded partially. During the interrogation, he was provided adequate rest looking at his medical condition. As per his request, the process of recording his statement temporarily concluded today morning," said Director of Investigations in I-T department P C Mody.
Shah shot into limelight after he declared Rs 13,860 crore under the IDS, which closed on September 30. He was picked up from the office of a regional channel for questioning on Friday. "The process of recording his statement will resume, may be tomorrow.
He has just replied to our questions related to the search (at his residence). He has left for home. I can not reveal any further details as investigations are in progress," Mody added. Shah, who went missing after the I-T department searched his residence a few days back, appeared in the studio of a local news channel on Friday for an interview.
Later, he was taken away by I-T officials from there. During the interview, Shah claimed he made the declaration out of compulsion and for commission.
"The amount of Rs 13,860 crore I declared under IDS was not mine, will tell the names of those behind it before Income Tax officials.... I will disclose everything soon. I have committed a mistake but I will reveal everything soon," Shah said yesterday.
Meanwhile, apprehending possible threat to his life, city police deployed two guards outside his residence in Satellite area. "As per the instructions we have received from senior officials, we have deployed two guards outside his residence for protection of Shah and his family," said Satellite police inspector M U Mashi.
Commenting on the issue, Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja stated that truth will eventually come out. "I am confident that truth will come out during the investigation by I-T department," said Jadeja. During his interview to news channel, Shah refused to reveal name of persons who allegedly used him as a front to declare the whopping amount, saying that he would do that only in front of I-T officials.
The Gujarat businessman claimed he had not done anything wrong and was ready to reveal everything. Income Tax searches were conducted at the office and residential premises of Shah on November 29, 30 and December 1 after he failed to pay first instalment of tax on the declaration of Rs 13,860 crore.
I-T sleuths also swooped down on premises of his Chartered Accountant firm Apaji Amin & Co. Shah was missing from the day searches were carried out at his premises. He was supposed to pay Rs 1,560 crore, which is 25% of 45% tax on the disclosed amount, as the first instalment.
Though November 30 was the last date, he failed to deposit the instalment with I-T department. When I-T department conducted an inquiry, they started doubting Shah's capacity to pay the instalment by the due date.
Thus by November 28, I-T department cancelled his IDS Form-2 and initiated search operations the next day....