Rs1.11 crore seized from Shiv Sena corporator’s car declared as benami

mumbai Updated: Nov 16, 2017 00:56 IST
Ram Parmar
Ram Parmar
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Income Tax,Shiv Sena

The Income Tax department has declared the Rs1.11-crore cash, seized from the car of a Shiv Sena corporator in Vasai soon after the announcement of demonetisation in December 2016, as benami.

An Adjudicating Authority of the Income Tax, New Delhi in October 2017, had issued the order under Section 71 of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act,1988 and this is the first case in which the order has been passed under the amended Benami Property Act,1988.

On December 15, 2016, in a joint drive, the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had recovered Rs 1.11 crore in both old and new notes from the boot of a car belonging to Dhananjay Gawde, Sena corporator. Searches were also carried out in Gawde’s residence and office at Pragati Nagar, Nalla Sopara in Palghar district. Out of the Rs 1.11 crore, Rs 64.50 lakh were in scrapped old notes of Rs1,000 and Rs500 while Rs47 lakh were in the new Rs 2,000 currency, said API Prashant Langi, a senior police official who was part of the raid. A hotelier, Sudharshan Sheregar was also questioned in connection to the seizure as he was found travelling in Gawde’s car, said API Langi

Both Gawde and Sheregar disowned the money and the matter came up for hearing by the Adjudicating Authority chairman Mukesh Kumar and member Tushar Shah, who said that both Gawde and Sheregar were caught with the cash but could not explain its source to the Director of Income tax, Unit IV (1) and (2) Thane division.

Sheregar claimed that the cash was handed over to him by Pramod Dalwi,a Virar resident, in the presence of Gawde. In his statement to the authority, Gawde said that he did not know anything about the cash, but said he had accompanied Sheregar to Dalwi’s house and was chased by the police.

After Dalwi said he didn’t know about the cash, the authority declared it as benami. Meanwhile, Dalwi filed a PIL in the HC in October demanding an Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the entire issue claiming he was framed by Gawde in the matter. The HC will hear the PIL on November 22.

First Published: Nov 16, 2017 00:56 IST