New Delhi: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has said that the diary pages from what has come to be known as the Yeddy diaries -- because of the alleged link with former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa -- and the loose papers given to the team that raided Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar's premises in 2017 could not pass the forensic test as they were "not original".
The CBDT's statement came with a clarification after a media report titled 'The Yeddy Diaries' published by news magazine 'The Caravan' alleged that Yeddyurappa paid Rs 1,800 crore to some top BJP leaders -- including veterans L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari.
The rebuttal, which comprised statements made by Shivakumar and Yeddyurappa on documents seized from the Congress leader during IT searches, was extraordinary for its length and the details it contained.
Shivakumar had told the investigators that this was a copy of a diary, written by Yeddyurappa, and the payments paid on behalf of the leader (Yeddyurappa) to legislators, and received from various leaders, MLAs, ministers when they were in power, said CBDT about the statement.
Shivakumar further said, in his statement to the Income-Tax authorities, that the handwriting in the loose sheets could be of Yeddyurappa on the basis of comparison between various documents written by him (B.S. Yeddyurappa) and the handwriting in the loose sheets.
The department said that a search action under Section 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 was carried out on Shivakumar and group of cases on August 2, 2017 by the Income Tax Investigation Directorate of Karnataka and Goa. A large evidence of incriminating material against Shivakumar and his company was found.
"During the search, some loose papers were given to the raiding party. This was a xerox copy of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, Legislator's Diary pages of 2009 with details of numerical entries against some individuals. The original of these documents was never given," a CBDT statement said.
The statement made no reference to the amounts allegedly paid to the politicians that were highlighted in 'The Caravan' report.
On being asked as to how he got possession of the said loose sheets, the statement said: "Sh DK Shivakumar stated that, being a politician, he procures information about other parties, leaders and members and as the said loose sheets contain political information, he cannot disclose the source of information.
"Further, he also stated that he keeps getting such information from the general public."
Shivakumar, the statement said, also stated that he did not know the time period in which the said transactions had taken place and that he did not have the originals of the said loose sheets.
In response to the question why the said matter was not brought to the notice of ACB (Anti Corruption Branch) or Lokayukta of Karnataka, Shivakumar told the Income-Tax authorities that as "he did not know about the genuineness of the said loose sheets", said the statement, adding he did not inform the same to enforcement agencies.
"The seized material and the statements of Shivakumar were confronted with Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa on November 25, 2017. Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa stated that he was not in the habit of writing a dairy and that the loose sheets in question were not in his handwriting. He denied his handwriting and signatures on the loose sheets," said the statement.
Also, as the handwriting did not belong to Yeddyurappa, he told officials that he cannot have any knowledge about the contents of the loose sheets.
Yeddyurappa further stated that contents of the loose sheets were false and fabricated and his name has been used to malign his political career, said the CBDT statement.
The leader also provided a sample of his handwriting in order to verify the genuineness of the said loose sheets. Further, he also stated that the fabricated loose sheets were politically motivated with an intention to tarnish his political image.
The CBDT said that on April 18, 2018, an enquiry was made to the Director, Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Directorate of Forensics Science Services, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Amberpet Post, Ramanthapur, Hyderabad, Telangana whether the signatures could be verified.
"In response, CFSL, Hyderabad replied on April 24, 2018 that the examination of handwriting and signatures is carried out in the said laboratory and that all the disputed documents are to be sent in original. No originals were given by D. K. Shivakumar.
"It is clear that for a forensic analysis of the disputed writings to establish its evidentiary value, originals of the same are required. All efforts have been made by the Income Tax Office concerned to procure the originals of the disputed writings. However, the details about the place and custody of the original writings and, if the original writings exist, are not available.
"The same loose sheets prima facie appear to be of a doubtful nature and were given by the person who was being raided for tax violations," said the statement.