Sukh Dhaliwal, a former Indian Canadian member of parliament, has resigned as a British Columbia Liberal Party candidate in the coming provincial election amid tax-evasion charges, media reports said.
An emotional Dhaliwal addressed a hastily called news conference Friday at the Grand Taj Banquet Hall in Surrey, where just days earlier he held a fundraiser with Premier Christy Clark attended by 800 supporters, Vancouver Sun reported.
Dhaliwal's resignation came hours after the BC Liberals announced a review of his candidacy and confirmed that he only notified the party of the tax charges after The Vancouver Sun obtained the court documents and called for comment, the newspaper said.
Still, Dhaliwal insisted he was not pushed, but had decided with his family that he should quit the campaign.
The Sun cited Dhaliwal as saying he didn't know about the six tax related charges between 2004 and 2010, sworn on Oct 15, until the end of November after he had already been named the candidate for Surrey-Panorama on Oct 31, 2012,
Dhaliwal made a first appearance on the six charges in Surrey Provincial Court Nov 26 and was arraigned Dec 17. The case was back in court again this week and put over to Feb 21.
The charges relate to Dhaliwal's position as president of Genco Consultants Inc., which was founded on Nov 26, 1999 as a numbered company, the Sun said.
The two-page court document alleges Dhaliwal violated section 238 (1) of the Income Tax Act when "on or about Dec 23, 2011, [he] did unlawfully direct, authorise, asset to, acquiesce in or participate in Genco Consultant's failure to file a completed Corporate Income Tax Return or T2."
There is a separate count with identical wording for each of the years 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Each count also says that Dhaliwal was "served personally" with a notice
of requirement to file on Aug 24, 2011, according to the Sun.
Dhaliwal was a Liberal MP for Surrey-Newton-North Delta from 2006 until 2011, when he was beaten by the New Democratic Party's Jinny Sims.