In an attempt to insulate the Centre from the charge of shielding Ms Mayawati, the income-tax department is planning to challenge the Income Tax Appellate Tribunals (ITAT) clean chit to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
In a recent order, ITAT had legitimised the cash and properties the chief minister had massed through the donation route.
Ms Mayawatis political rivals have been charging the government with a brazen attempt to help the UP chief minister as ITAT order would provide her relief in the disproportionate assets case. The charges got credence when UP governor T V Rajeswar refused to sanction the prosecution of the chief minister in the Taj Corridor case.
I-T officials involved in the investigations have been maintaining that the ITAT order will make it difficult to corner Ms Mayawati, who has acquired properties and huge amounts of cash in recent years. The chief minister has been maintaining that the properties were donated by BSP workers on various occasions.
In an intriguing order, ITAT had endorsed the stand taken by Ms Mayawati when it said that the gifts were given to her out of affection.
One may be impelled by his conscience or may be moved by emotions to part with his wealth or property and to give the same to a particular person for whom he has developed love and affection. Such a desire can be developed at any time and on any ground. The factors which weigh for executing such desire are best known to the donor. It is not easy to make probe into such human psychology or human emotions which one may carry at the time of making such sacrifices, the ITAT order had said.
I-T officials have been maintaining that the tribunals order will have a significant fallout on the CBI probe into the disproportionate assets case against the BSP supreme.
The chief minister and her relatives were found to be in possession of 72 immovable properties, besides Rs 13 crore she claimed to have mopped up through more than 300 small donations. The BJP had described the ITAT order as disturbing as it has the potential to be used by tainted politicians and bureaucrats in future.