In a maiden attempt of its kind, tax enforcement agencies are now trying to locate properties abroad of Pune-based stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan which could be attached or auctioned to extract from him a huge tax liability to the tune of Rs 40,000 crore.
Both the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate are now planning to send fresh requests under provisions of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and Letters Rogatories (LRs) to a few countries where they suspect that Khan owns properties including in the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Top sources said the Finance Ministry is “very hopeful” of getting fresh information on Khan’s investments and accounts from Switzerland as the revised DTAA with the Swiss government allows information to be extended with a prospective effect.
“Some new findings by financial enforcement agencies and the Income Tax department will be placed before Swiss authorities.
“The agencies are looking for his assets abroad as there is nothing in India to be attached as per the law for obtaining the huge tax or penalty,” sources familiar with the new line of investigation said.
The I-T department is also preparing a dossier of the tax-related information that it has obtained from various foreign shores which could be later used for adjudication and imposing penalties on Khan, the sources said.
Khan deposed before the Assessment Wing of the Income Tax department in Mumbai on February 18 and was asked why penalty should not be imposed on him.
The ED zonal office in Mumbai has also issued a nation-wide alert in connection with Khan’s dealings to obtain information about his movable, immovable properties and investments anywhere in the country.
The ED and the I-T department along with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Maharashtra are probing cases of illegal investments and charges of money laundering against Khan.
The ED, according to the sources, now wants to obtain all possible information from various state and central law enforcement agencies about the finances of Khan in its probe to track his money trail.
This information will be used to issue fresh LRs to foreign countries, they said.
In January 2007, the I-T department had searched Khan’s residence at Koregaon Park in Pune and seized documents that allegedly showed that he had USD 8.04 billion in a UBS account in Zurich.
The searches followed information that Khan had allegedly concealed his income and not filed tax returns since 1999.
The I-T department had also searched his properties in Mumbai and Hyderabad.
On February 11, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to ensure that Khan did not leave the country in connection with the black money case.