New Delhi: In a development that might raise many eyebrows, the Income Tax (IT) Department on Monday served notice to Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s wife over her income as director of several companies.
Lavasa had hit headlines during General Elections earlier this year when he dissented in as many as 11 Election Commission (EC) clean chits to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah over their alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
According to reports, Novel Singhal, the Election Commissioner’s wife and a former banker, became an independent director of several companies when he became the Secretary, Government of India. She resigned from the State Bank of India (SBI) in 2005. She was questioned in this regard by the IT Department last week too.
The 61-year-old Lavasa is a retired 1980 Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer of Haryana cadre and one of the two Election Commissioners of India, along with Sushil Chandra, serving under the incumbent and 23rd Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora. He assumed his current post, post-retirement, in January 2018 and has also served as Finance Secretary of India, Environment Secretary of India and Civil Aviation Secretary of India.
Writing to the EC earlier this year, he said that since his minority vote was not recorded, it was pointless for him to attend any meeting of the Commission. During the elections, the EC was accused of being biased towards Modi and Shah, both of whom, in many of their speeches, invoked the armed forces and religion, which is not permitted under its guidelines.