New Delhi [India], October 22 (ANI): The Income Tax Department carried out search and seizure operations on Thursday on a group of three assessees, based in Srinagar unearthing undisclosed investments and cash transactions of about Rs 105 crore.
The searches were conducted at 15 residential and business premises, out of which 14 were in Srinagar and one in Delhi.
"The group is engaged in multiple businesses including real estate, construction and renting of commercial and residential complexes in Srinagar, hotel industry, handicrafts, carpet trading, etc. The search has lead to a seizure of unaccounted cash amounting to Rs 1.82 crore and jewellery/bullion worth Rs 74 lakh. Total undisclosed investments and cash transactions of Rs 105 crore of the group have been unearthed during the search," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a press note.
"The group owns a huge mall of 75,000 sq ft in Srinagar. However, the corresponding income tax returns have not been filed. The land was acquired under the Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 (popularly known as the 'Roshni Act') from the State Govt at a throwaway price. The search has uncovered evidence of unexplained investment of more than Rs 25 crore in this mall," it added.
It further said: "The group is also constructing six residential towers in Srinagar, out of which two towers, of around 50 flats each, have already been completed and remaining are under construction, for which also income tax returns have not been filed. Prima-facie, there is an unexplained investment of Rs 20 crore in this project."
"The group is also running a school, under a trust which is not registered under the Income-tax 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 One of the trustees has admitted to having withdrawn substantial cash from the said trust which has been diverted towards other business purposes and personal expenses of the group.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 an unexplained investment of around Rs 10 crore in this school building," it added.
The search has lead to the recovery of incriminating evidence regarding receipt and payment of cash amounting to more than Rs 50 crore from various premises. Three lockers have been found, which have been put under restraint. All the properties are being referred for valuation.
An engineering consultant firm, which had valued almost all immovable properties of the assessee group, was also covered under the search. It has been found that this firm has not filed any income tax return, even though more than 100 valuations have been done by it, with consultancy receipts of more than Rs 4 crore, in the last six financial years. This engineering consultant firm had valued the properties of various assessees of the Valley in such a way that they could mortgage those properties to avail maximum loans from J-K Bank. Most of such loans have become NPA as per the bank. Details of such properties have been seized for making further inquiries.
Further investigation is in progress. (ANI)