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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Suspended official invested through Prithviraj Kothari: I-T

Manish Pachouly, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 15, 2013
First Published: 10:04 IST(15/6/2013) | Last Updated: 10:06 IST(15/6/2013)

Suspended deputy commissioner of income tax GD Sharma has also come under the ambit of investigation for his alleged links with bullion dealer Prithviraj Kothari on whom searches are being carried out since Tuesday.

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The search on Kothari and his company RiddiSiddhi Bullions Ltd would continue on Saturday, sources in the Income Tax department said.

Sources said Sharma had allegedly invested in gold through Kothari and the amount of investment is allegedly disproportionate to his income. He now faces a vigilance inquiry.

Sharma had allegedly alerted Kothari about searches to be conducted on him 25 minutes before the operation started on Tuesday. I-T authorities learnt about his role as they had kept Kothari’s phones under surveillance.

“We are investigating Sharma’s links with Kothari,” said an I-T official requesting anonymity. The department would also look into the tax paid by Sharma’s wife to verify her income and would also find out if investments were made in her name by Sharma. Officials are also probing Sharma’s investment in properties.

Meanwhile, Kothari appeared before the I-T authorities on Friday to record his statement after being missing since the searches began on Tuesday, as he was allegedly tipped off about the operation by Sharma. I-T officials recorded Kothari’s statement till late evening.

Officials also found Kothari heavily invested in properties and the deals are being looked into.

Sources said the investigation so far indicates that the tax evasion could be anywhere around Rs1,000 crore. “However, it [the exact amount] would be clear once the investigation is complete,” the official said, adding that they were still recovering documents.

Sources said after going through the account books and other crucial documents, the tax evasion figure would be finalized, based on which Kothari would be asked to pay the tax and penalty.


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