Income Tax officials on Tuesday scoured the offices of a number of consortiums which had been given lucrative contracts for the Commonwealth Games, including the premises of BJP leader and businessman Sudhanshu Mittal in Delhi and the NCR, Chandigarh and Ludhiana.
The searches were part of a multi-agency probe initiated by the Centre into the allegations of murky deals during the Games preparations which dented India's international image.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is conducting its own probe, also filed a case against some CWG Organising Committee (OC) officials for foreign exchange law violations in payments allegedly made during the inauguration of the Queen’s Baton Relay in London.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also confirmed it had begun probing complaints relating to procedural irregularities and corruption against OC officials.
“We are looking into at around 15 specific complaints in the award of contracts in the run-up to the CWG,” said a CBI source, requesting anonymity.
Besides, the Anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Vigilance Commission, is separately probing corruption in various Games-related projects, amid allegations of irregularities amounting several thousands of crores.
On Tuesday, about 200 tax sleuths hunted cupboards and sifted through papers and data stored in computers across 30 locations of several contractors and vendors of the Games.
Tax department officials told HT the searches were being carried out to collect information on four business consortiums. They were all awarded Games-related overlays contracts worth more than Rs 700 crore amid allegations of heavily marked-up prices in procuring sundry items.
The most lucrative overlays deals of around Rs 250 crore went to a consortium of PICO International and Deepali Design and Exhibits, founded by Vinay Mittal, the nephew of Sudhanshu Mittal.
Tax department sources said the three other consortiums were G L Litmus and Meroform consortium, Comfort Net and Nussli India consortium and ESG Arena and D-Art Furniture.
The department also conducted surveys at the premises of real estate firm Ireo in Gurgaon as it suspects the firm to have routed funds through tax havens to make investments. Mittal is believed to be stakeholder in Ireo too.
“Ireo doesn’t have any contract with the Commonwealth Games 2010. Ireo remains committed to fully cooperating with the authorities,” an Ireo statement said.
The income tax department is also examining financial documents relating to the television broadcast rights for the Games following charges of tax evasion.