Remember Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who shot to fame in this year’s Lok Sabha elections after he refused to give a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah for poll code violations? His wife Novel Singh has now received notices from the Income Tax department in relation to her income as an independent director of multiple companies.
Singh, a former banker, who resigned from the State Bank of India around 2005, has reportedly received IT notices since ‘August 2019.’ The Election Commissioner’s wife said that she had clarified her stand to the IT department in a series of communications.
“It is clarified that having served as a Class I officer with the State Bank of India for 28 years and having acquired vast experience in Banking and Development, I continue to be engaged in various professional activities, including as independent Director in a few companies,” News18 website quoted a statement from Novel Singh.
In May this year, Lavasa had written an extraordinary letter to the Chief Election Commissioner stating that he had decided to skip the meetings on Model Code of Conduct violations since his dissent was not recorded in the past.
In an equally extraordinary development, CEC Arora had issued a public statement calling the controversy ‘unsavory’ and ‘avoidable.’
Lavasa had dissented with the CEC and another Election Commissioner after they gave a clean chit to Modi and Shah for poll code violations. On 1 May, the Election Commission had given Modi a clean chit on complaints of violations of the Model Code of Conduct during his election speech in Latur in Maharashtra. The same day, the national poll body ruled that Modi did not violate any rules with his speech made in Maharashtra’s Wardha, where he was seen provoking Hindus against the Congress at an election rally on 1 April.
On 3 May, the EC had given another clean chit to Modi on complaints of poll code violations. This was in the case of his speech in Rajasthan’s Barmer, where he had said that India was no longer scared of Pakistan and the country’s nuclear arsenal was not meant for Diwali celebrations. On 4 May, the EC said that Modi did not violate the model code in his speech in Gujarat’s Patan on 21 April. The Prime Minister had said that his government kept Pakistan on its toes to secure the safe release of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
Not just Ashok Lavasa, even his daughter Avny Lavasa too was seen acting against the BJP for poll code violation during this year’s Lok Sabha elections. Posted as Leh District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Avny had vowed to punish BJP leaders after a video of local journalists being bribed by the saffron party functionaries went viral.