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New Delhi, October 10, 2020
The Income Tax Department, in a search and seizure action, based on credible intelligence, on October 8 in Ahmedabad netted Rs 69 lakh in cash and jewellery worth Rs 82 lakh.
The case relates to a group engaged in the businesses of real estate, construction and land trading. A search was conducted at 27 premises, which included offices and residences of some associates, an official press release said.
During the search, unexplained cash of around Rs 69 lakh and jewellery of around Rs 82 lakh were seized till now. Besides, 18 bank lockers were found and placed under restraint. Several incriminating documents and digital data in mobile phones, pen-drives and computers have also been found and seized, it said.
According to the release, the group had around 96 companies at a few common addresses, which were being used for routing money and for landholding. Most of the companies were found to have no real business and very few returns of income have been filed. Many have not filed ROC (Registrar of Companies) returns. Some directors of these concerns, other than main family members, have accepted to be dummy directors with mere signing roles.
Innovative methods of tax evasion by increasing the cost of properties through intra-group transactions, on which tax is not paid, have been noticed. Substantial evidence of transactions outside the regular books of accounts, unaccounted cash expenses, and cash advances received and interest paid in cash have been found, the release said.
Evidence of on-money transactions and corresponding unaccounted investments of about Rs. 100 crore in real estate projects -- flats, shops and land deals -- have been found, it said.
A large number of documents relating to properties, held in the names of several cooperative societies, have been found from a secret location. The real owners of these landholdings are being investigated and applicability of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 is also being examined.
Registered and notarized sale-purchase agreements of agricultural lands with substantial cash component have also been found. At one of the premises, evidence of about unaccounted property transactions up to Rs 150 crore have been found. Further investigations are in progress, the release added.