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TAX TROUBLE
Shanti Bhushan fined for evading stamp duty

TAX TROUBLE

n Veteran lawyer had shown purchase of Allahabad prime property for a paltry sum
n To pay up Rs 1.35 crore stamp duty, Rs 27 lakh fine on outstanding amount

Allahabad, January 6
Team Anna member Shanti Bhushan was today found to have evaded Rs 1.35 crore in stamp duty in the purchase of a prime property here and slapped a fine of Rs 27 lakh on the outstanding amount.

Assistant Stamp Commissioner KP Pandey said Bhushan, a former Union Minister, has so far paid Rs 46,700 towards stamp duty for the purchase of the property spread over 7,818 acres of land in the posh Civil Lines area. He will have to pay within a month the outstanding amount, in addition to the fine, with 1.5% interest with effect from November 29, 2010.

The entire amount has to be paid within a month, failing which the department will initiate further action, Pandey said.

Shanti Bhushan used to stay in the bungalow built on the land till the 1970s when he moved to New Delhi. He, however, did not give up possession of the property and remained involved in a protracted litigation with the landlord before purchasing the land through an "agreement to sell" in November, 2010.

It has been claimed by the department for stamp and registration that Bhushan had shown purchase of the property for a paltry sum, which enabled him to understate its value on which the stamp duty payable was calculated and Rs 46,700 was paid.

A notice was issued to Bhushan in February 2011 for alleged evasion of stamp duty to the tune of nearly Rs 1.35 crore. However, Bhushan has maintained that there was no evasion of stamp duty. PTI

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