In a shocking investigation by ‘Cobrapost’, as many as 194 law makers from across the country including two former Assam Chief Ministers; Tarun Gogoi and Bhumidhar Barman, were found to be faked their PAN details while reporting their income to the Election Commission.
The data collated and analyzed by Cobrapost reveals big names, including three-time former Assam Chief Ministers Tarun Gogoi and one-time CM Bhumidhar Barman, former Chief Minister of Bihar Jitan Ram Manjhi and former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh.
Tarun Gogoi, the three-time Chief Minister of Assam and six-time Lok Sabha MP, has quoted two different PANs. Cobra post reports that according to the affidavit filed with the ECI for 2006 assembly elections, Gogoi had a PAN with number ACOPG06834, which did not exist, but in the next elections held in 2011 the Congress leader quoted a different PAN ACOPG0683M.
“The Gogoi family witnessed a phenomenal rise in their fortunes during the period between these two elections. Their declared assets included immovable property worth Rs. 3.65 crore and movable assets over Rs. 35 lakh in 2011 elections. Contrast this to 2006 when Gogoi had reported a total income of Rs. 5,92,580, as shown in his income tax returns, with movable assets of Rs 35.25 lakh, including among others, Rs. 14.77 lakh in the State Bank of India Guwahati branch, Rs. 3.91 lakh in the Daryaganj branch of Indian Overseas Bank in New Delhi, Rs. 11,920 in SBI Parliament Street branch in New Delhi,” cobrapost.com reported.
“While declaring his assets in 2006 assembly elections, Gogoi’s predecessor and seven-time MLA Bhumidhar Barman had entered ACBPD0559N for his PAN which we found non-existing. In the next elections, we find him to have quoted a different PAN ACBPB0559N,” Cobrapost further reported.
Under Indian law, a candidate is required to disclose his or her income and assets by duly quoting their PAN issued by the Income Tax Department. Concealment of the same may invite disqualification under Section 125(A)(3) of the Representation of the People Act 1951 after a candidate is elected to the legislature. On the other hand, Section 139A(7) of the Income Tax Act 1961, clearly holds that “No person who has already been allotted a permanent account number under the new series shall apply, obtain or possess another permanent account number.”