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Unaccounted income of Rs 70 crore detected in IT raids on real estate group in Haryana
New Delhi, March 19, 2021
A search by the Income Tax Department on the premises of a group engaged in the business of real estate, housing, hospitality and retail liquor trade revealed an unaccounted income of Rs 70 crore and jewellery worth Rs 3 crore.
The search operation on March 17 was carried out at 12 different premises located in Samalkha, Gurugram, Rohtak and Panchkula.
The group’s non-compliance to faceless scrutiny assessment notices selected and issued through a computerised system led to the search operation, an official press release said.
Notices under the Faceless Assessment Scheme sent to certain assessees were consistently not complied with even though received by them. Data analytics revealed that the recipients were persons of no/low means. Subsequent internal and discreet inquiries revealed that the said persons were the front for the group and were also proxy (Benami) of some of the group members, the release said.
Further inquiries revealed that the persons to whom the notices were issued were engaged in the liquor business run by the group. It was found that such persons to whom liquor licences were issued were the proxy of the main group members.
They were persons of no means and they have stated on oath not knowing the business being run in their names. Their names have been misused to avail the quota reserved for SC/ST section. Further investigation is on to establish the money trail and real ownership. Suitable action under the Benami Prohibition Act will be taken in all such cases, the release said.
During the search, evidence has been found proving bogus booking of flats in the name of employees/relatives and unidentifiable persons, in the affordable housing scheme project of the group. The company has allotted houses to the employees of the group members, whose un-encashed cheques have been found at the premises.
The release said, the flats were, however, further sold to the actual buyer at a premium of Rs 6 lakh to Rs 10 lakh each. The premium received in cash has not been accounted for in the books. Premium in cash has been charged from the other buyers as well, in this affordable housing scheme. Thus, there is not only misuse of the scheme but also tax evasion which is estimated to be not less than Rs 36 crore, it said.
"During the search, evidence was found that the group has claimed bogus expenses on account of building material like cement, iron bar etc. of around Rs 100 crore, in previous years, leading to huge evasion of taxes. Further, it was seen that the group is also regularly claiming huge bogus business promotion expenses, in the previous years, and laundering the cash siphoned off as an unaccounted investment in immovable properties.
"Substantial evidence has also been found that the group has routed its unaccounted income of Rs 70 crore in the form of bogus share capital and unsecured loan, through a shell company that has been invested in the buy-out of a real estate project from a popular builder in the area of Gurugram. Evidence in the form of property documents and title deeds have been found regarding investment in Benami properties in India as well as out of the country. The matter is being examined further.
"The group has incurred unaccounted expenditure for personal and office purposes in cash running into crores of rupees. This also includes expenditure for taking various approvals for projects and lavish marriage expenses.
"During the search, an unexplained investment in jewellery of approximate Rs 3 crore has been found. Four bank lockers of the group have also been found and put under restraint. Further investigations are in progress," the release added.