“He just said that ‘please don’t make such statements. Even Mohandas Pai should not. I am telling you as a friend,’” Shaw told the Telegraph.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw says govt official told her not to discuss income tax harassment
news Income Tax Sunday, August 04, 2019 - 14:40

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the billionaire businesswoman and head of Biocon, reportedly received a phone call from a “government official” who told her to refrain from discussing issues around income tax harassment, in the wake of the death of Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha. 

“He just said that ‘please don’t make such statements. Even Mohandas Pai should not. I am telling you as a friend,’” Shaw told the Telegraph.

Former Infosys Director Pai had told Quint that Shaw had received the phone call. He noted that others, aside from him and Shaw, have also received similar calls. 

When Shaw was asked whether the call sounded like a warning or advice, she replied, “you can call it both ways.” 

“Personally, I’ve never had any problems with the tax department,” she told the paper. She also noted that she did not understand why the corporate world was “silent” on the issue. “Only you can decide whether you want to speak out. If you are paying your taxes, why should you worry?” 

“I used to speak out always. It doesn’t matter if UPA is in power or the NDA,” she reportedly said. 

Shaw did not respond to request for comment, but on August 3, she tweeted:

Siddartha went missing on July 29, which launched a massive manhunt to find him. Before his body was found 9 km from the Nethravathi bridge on July 31, a letter purportedly written by him claimed that he had been under pressure from a private equity partner who was forcing him to buy back Mindtree and Coffee Day shares and that he faced harassment from an unnamed former Director General of Income Tax. Some prominent members of the business community spoke out against the “tax terror” allegedly faced by Siddhartha. The Income Tax Department even issued a note to justify the search and seizure on Siddhartha. 

Pai noted that tax terrorism had begun during the Congress-led UPA government and continued into the BJP government, according to reports.

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