I-T department raids Srinagar, Delhi offices of business group, discovers investments worth Rs 100 crore
The Income-Tax (I-T) department on Thursday evening conducted a series of raids in Srinagar and Delhi and unearthed undisclosed investments of a business group that were worth more than Rs 100 crore.
The search-and-seizure operations were carried out on a Srinagar-based group of companies, including three assesses, officials said.
“Searches were conducted at 15 residential and business premises, out of which 14 were in Srinagar and one was in Delhi,” according to a release issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
The CBDT authorities said the group is engaged in multiple businesses, including construction and renting of commercial and residential complexes in Srinagar, hospitality, handicraft, carpets, trading etc.
“The searches have led to the seizure of unaccounted cash amounting to Rs 1.82 crore and jewellery worth Rs 74 lakh. The undisclosed investments and cash transactions of Rs 105 crore of the group have been unearthed during the searches,” the release stated.
The group owns a shopping mall, which has a retail space of around 75,000 square (sq) feet (ft), in Srinagar.
“However, the corresponding I-T returns against the income from the shopping mail have not been filed. The land was acquired under the Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of. Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001, which is popularly known as the Roshni Act, from the erstwhile state government at a throwaway price. The search has uncovered evidence of unexplained investments of over Rs 25 crore in the shopping complex,” the CBDT said.
The group is also constructing six residential towers in Srinagar. The construction of two towers is complete and the work is in progress in the rest of them for which the I-T returns have not been filed, the statement alleged.
“Prima facie, there is an unexplained investment of Rs 20 crore in the project,” CBDT said.
The group is also running a school under the aegis of a trust, which is not registered under the I-T Act, 1961.
“One of the trustees has admitted to having withdrawn substantial cash from the said trust, which has been diverted towards other business purposes and personal expenses of the group. Prima facie, there is also unexplained investment of Rs 10 crore in the school building,” the CBDT alleged.
The CBDT statement cited that searches had led to recovery of incriminating evidence regarding receipt and payment of cash amounting to over Rs 50 crore from various premises. Three lockers have been uncovered that have been put under restraint.
“An engineering consultant firm, which has valued almost all the properties of the group, was also raided during the search operation. The firm did not file its I-T returns, even though it had earned more than Rs 4 crore over the last six financial years,” the CBDT alleged.
“This firm had valued properties of various assesses of the Kashmir Valley in such a manner that they could mortgage their assets to avail maximum loans from Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Bank. Most of the loans have turned into non-performing assets (NPA), according to the J&K Bank,” the CBDT statement added.