MPs who flashed money may face penalties

July 22nd, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The wads of currency notes flashed by three opposition MPs inside the Lok Sabha Tuesday as alleged bribes to abstain from voting on the trust motion not only stand to be confiscated but could also land them in trouble, experts said. “As per Section 269 SS of the Income Tax Act, no person is allowed to accept more than Rs.20,000 as cash,” a senior chartered accountant with a leading foreign firm said.

“The penalty for violation under Section 271 D is at least to the extent of amount of cash accepted. If some other provisions have been violated, the penalty could be more,” the chartered accountant, who is among the firm’s partners, added.

This provision, according to another tax expert, was specifically introduced to curb black money and graft in the guise of loans or deposits. “Payment of any amount exceeding Rs.20,000 can be made only by way of an account-payee cheque.”

There was furore in the Lok Sabha Tuesday after three members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora - pulled wads of Rs.1,000 notes out of three leather bags.

BJP leader L.K. Advani said the three MPs had been given Rs.10 million each as an advance to abstain from voting on the trust motion, which had been moved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday.

They had been promised another Rs.80 million each after the vote, he alleged.

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