Ongoing I-T raids might lead to hundreds of benami properties of rich and influential people in Bhopal

The IT raid sleuths at the premises of Bhopal-based premier builders Asnani Group and its business associates the three cities of MP and Karnataka have led to seizure of voluminous documents

Published: 18th May 2018 07:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2018 07:56 PM   |  A+A-

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Image for representational purpose only.

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Income Tax department searches underway in Indore, Bhopal and Bengaluru since Wednesday could result in unearthing of hundreds of benami properties – which could be the biggest disclosure of benami properties ever in a single IT department raid.

The search by IT department sleuths at the premises of Bhopal-based premier builders Asnani Group and its business associates the three cities of MP and Karnataka have led to seizure of voluminous documents pertaining to plethora of properties.

Investigations have revealed that hundreds of these properties, including residential plots, houses and flats developed by the Asnani Group in Bhopal district have been booked by individuals and entities sans proper identity proof and address proof documents.

“We’ve stumbled upon documents of hundreds of properties in Bhopal district, in which investments worth several crores of rupees have been made by investors, sans proper documents. Many of these documents have been found to be having incomplete entries about the real identity and addresses of those who have invested in these properties being developed by the Asnani Group in Bhopal. This raises a strong possibility of hundreds of these properties actually being Benami properties,” said a senior income tax department official in Bhopal.

The senior official at the MP and Chhattisgarh IT department headquarters added “we’re investigating such properties in detail and these properties actually being benami cannot be ruled out. There is a strong possibility about hundreds of these small and medium sized properties actually being benami properties of rich and influential people of MP.”

Importantly, maximum 319 benami properties were detected and attached provisionally by IT Department in MP and Chhattisgarh in 2017-2018 – which was the highest number of benami properties anywhere in the country.

Sources privy to the searches which are still underway in 25 premises in the three cities of MP and Karnataka told The New Indian Express that the magnitude of tax evasion likely to be revealed by the ongoing searches could be well be above Rs 100 crore.

The searches which began at 30 premises (mostly in Bhopal) are likely to be complete by Saturday evening.

Also, the searches at the premises of financier Sharad Darak in Indore, which led to six bogus companies might bring more bogus companies in the open.

“Transactions worth several crores have been found to have been done through these bogus companies. The Asnani Group is among the individuals and entities whose entries have been found in the records pertaining to such bogus companies,” said the official.

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