Sahara-Birla diaries: Rahul Gandhi dares PM Modi to face probe

New delhi: Reacting to granting of immunity from prosecution to Sahara India, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to face a probe if his conscience is clear.

Sahara India has been granted immunity from prosecution and penalty following raids conducted on November 2014 during which “diaries” listing alleged pay-offs to politicians were recovered, a leading English daily reported on Thursday.

Sahara and Birla were accused by an NGO of allegedly paying bribes to top politicians including Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Significantly, the Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) has concurred with Sahara’s claim that the “evidentiary value” of the “loose sheets” recovered during the raids “could not be proved” by the Income Tax Department.

The 50-page order by the ITSC says that the panel agreed with Sahara’s claim that the “evidentiary value” of the “loose sheets: recovered during the raids could not be proved by the Income Tax Department.

The final page of the order states that only Rs 137.58 crore, which was seized during the raids, will now be taxed, which too can be paid by the company in 12 instalments.