The income tax (I-T) department has initiated a probe into the allegations that a Pune-based software firm prepared fake invoices for various entities, including the Apeejay Education Society (AES), to help them evade tax.
The IT authorities have questioned Sanjay D Sonawani, chairman of Pune-based Washington Software Ltd, which allegedly made fake invoices for Rs.52.58 crore for the delivery of software and other equipment to AES between 2003 and 2011.
The AES, a non-profit organisation, runs 13 schools across the country, including one each in Noida and Greater Noida and three in Delhi.
AES, in a statement to HT, has denied any wrongdoing and asked for the cross-examination of Sonawani in presence of I-T officials.
"Washington Software, the company under investigation by the income tax department, is one of many vendors that we have worked with in the past and our transactions with them are fully legitimate.
"We reiterate that Apeejay Education Society is not being investigated for any wrongdoing in the matter. Apeejay will fully cooperate with the income tax authorities in this matter if the need arises," the AES said in response to an HT's query.
During examination, Sonawani admitted to having listed fake entries of sale in the name of various entities, including the AES since 2003.
He said that he had prepared bogus invoices for AES worth more than Rs.52.58 crore between 2003-04 and 2010-11. HT has a copy of Sonawani’s admission.
The IT authorities of Jalandhar, which initiated the assessment proceedings against AES, have asked their counterparts in Pune to provide an opportunity to the educational society to cross-examine Sonawani.