Raids On DK Shivakumar Landed The Coffee King Under Income Tax Burden?
A day after Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Siddhartha’s body was recovered form a river bank in Mengaluru, Bengaluru’s business and political circles have claimed that the problems mentioned in the letter are linked to close ties with Congress leader DK Shivakumar.
Coffee King And Congress Leader
This comes after the I-T department in its press statement said that the raids against Siddhartha were a follow-up action to raids in the properties about a ‘prominent Karnataka politician’.
Shivakumar himself had also tweeted that he got a call from the CCD founder on 28 July, asking if they could meet.
The letter purportedly written by Shri VG Siddhartha which is circulating is dated July 27th.
I received a call from him on the 28th asking if we could meet up.
It’s unbelievable that a courageous man like him would resort to this. pic.twitter.com/bXcJhHz0QS
— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) July 30, 2019
As per a report in The Times of India Shivakumar came under the I-T scanner after his properties were raided in August 2017. I-T officials claimed the documents found at the Cogress leader’s house disclosed some alleged financial transactions between the Congress leader’s close kin and CCD.
As per the report, Shivakumar’s brother DK Suresh said that the I-T department was trying to connect Siddhartha’s shares in Mindtree in which he acquired a 20.3 per cent stake.
Siddhartha, in his letter, also mentioned about the attachment of ‘Mindtree Ltd’ shares by the income tax department, which led to a “serious” liquidity crunch.
Suspicion Over Authenticity Of Letter
A letter believed to be written by VG Siddhartha to the Board of Directors and Coffee Day family has claimed that the coffee king was under huge financial burden and was under immense pressure form one of his partners.
As per the I-T department the letter’s authenticity is questionable as the signature on it appears to be forged. “The authenticity of the note is not known, and the signature does not tally with Shri VGS’s signature as available in his annual reports,” the statement from the Department read.
In the letter, Siddhartha also said there was a lot of harassment from the Income Tax Department in the form of attaching “our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking the position of our Coffee Day shares, although revised returns have been filed by us”.
However, the IT Department on Tuesday denied charges of harassment during their probe against Siddhartha. The IT Department also disputed the authenticity of the signature. They said that Siddhartha had admitted holding stash income after raids were conducted against him.
Letter Seeking Apology
“My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody; I have failed as an entrepreneur. This is my sincere submission; I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me,” he wrote in the letter, seeking an apology.
He also attached a list of assets and their values with the letter. “Our assets outweigh our liabilities and can help repay everybody,” he concludes the letter.
The board of Coffee Day Enterprises Limited, on Tuesday, submitted “the letter purportedly signed by Mr Siddhartha” to the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd and BSE Ltd.
However, the police remained of a different opinion stating that the letter was handed over to them by Mr Siddhartha’s family.