The Income Tax Department claimed on Saturday that the controversial “Yeddy diaries” revealing alleged corruption by Bharatiya Janata Party leader BS Yeddyurappa are a “forgery document” and a “set of loose papers”, PTI reported.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, BR Balakrishnan, the principal chief income tax commissioner of Karnataka-Goa region, said, “Our conclusion after studying it was that it is a forgery document. It is a set of loose papers.”
On Friday, news magazine The Caravan had published a report claiming that former Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa had made diary entries noting payoffs of Rs 1,800 crore to senior BJP leaders, including Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, as well as payoffs to judges and lawyers. According to Caravan, each page of the document is signed by Yeddyurappa.
The Caravan made this claim on the basis of documents allegedly in the Income Tax Department’s possession since August 2017, after the department conducted a raid at the home of Congress leader DK Shivakumar.
However, on Saturday, Balakrishnan told reporters that the documents published in The Caravan were not part of the materials seized by the Income Tax Department. “There was an attempt to just make use of the diary to influence some other investigation, which we have not succumbed to. We have done our job in this case as well,” Balakrishnan said.
On Friday, the Central Board of Direct Taxation, which controls the Income Tax Department, had issued a statement saying that it had already investigated the diary entries seized from Shivakumar’s home and found nothing substantial in them. It claimed that the papers had been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad in April 2018 for verification, but since they were photocopies, forensic verification could not be carried out.
The “Yeddy diaries”, as they have come to be known, have created a political storm in the past two days, with the Congress demanding a Lokpal inquiry into the papers and BJP leaders like Jaitley calling the documents “forged” and “manufactured by the Congress”. Yeddyurappa, meanwhile, has categorically denied the allegations against him, and claims he will file a defamation suit against Congress leaders in response.