Mumbai: Slamming the Income Tax department on conducting searches last Tuesday at offices and homes of two priests for alleged possession of unaccounted cash in Trimbakeshwar in Nashik. Shiv Sena sought to know if the authorities will show the same courage when it comes to places of worship other than Hindu temples.
Sena, an ally of ruling BJP, said in its mouthpiece Saamana that: “Even if they (priests) do have money, the wealth is not created by illegal means. There is nothing wrong in earning money by working hard in extreme weather conditions.”
“Trimbakeshwar is a place where all kinds of Hindu rituals are performed for which hundreds of people from across the nation come. People say priests here must be having a lot of money. But how much money will priests have? Even if they do have money, the wealth is not collected by illegal means,” it said.
Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The Income Tax department has started sending notices to societies and trusts, including religious and charitable trusts, asking them to inform it about cash balances.
The notices are being sent under Section 133(6) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, which empowers the I-T authorities to compel banks and other authorities to furnish information which could be useful in connection with any pending proceeding or enquiry.