The times are not propitious for Team Anna. After the scandal surrounding Kiran Bedi over airfares billing, and the controversy over its decision to campaign against the Congress, there is another controversy that has hit the team. One of its prominent members, Shanti Bhushan has been fined Rs 27 lakhs for evading stamp duty of nearly 1.35 crores over the purchase of a prime property.
Bhushan had brought a property measuring 7,818 square metres in the posh Civil Lines area in Allahabad. He has only paid stamp duty of Rs 46,700 on the property. Assistant Stamp Commissioner KP Pandey has said that Bhushan would have to pay the remaining stamp duty in addition to the fine and an interest of 1.5% on the amount starting from November 2010.
The entire amount has to be paid within a month failing which the department will initiate further action, Pandey said. Shanti Bhushan, a former Union Minister and a prominent lawyer has been staying in a bunglow built on the land till 1970s, after which he moved to Delhi.
The department claims that Bhushan had shown the purchase of the property for a sum well under its actual value, enabling him to pay a lot less on stamp duty for the property. Bhushan has been fighting a long battle in the court for the possession of the property with the landlord after purchasing the land in November 2010. A notice on the issue was sent to the lawyer on February 2011.
This comes after the washout of a 3 day fast in Mumbai which ended in Anna Hazare falling sick. Bhushan has been in the news earlier also over his comments on J&K.