NEW DELHI: The Income Tax department has attached assets worth Rs 225 crore of retired Uttar Pradesh IAS officer Net Ram and his associates as part of an alleged tax evasion probe against them, officials said Wednesday.
They said a provisional order under section 132(9B) (power to attach) of the I-T Act has been issued and 20 immovable assets in Delhi, Mumbai, Noida and Kolkata have been attached and three luxury cars -- a Mercedes and two Toyota Fortuners -- found at the residence of the officer in Lucknow, have been impounded.
I-T officials had swooped down on about a dozen premises in Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, linked to the 1979-batch Indian Administrative Service officer and his firms, on March 12, acting on "credible inputs" that the former top bureaucrat and his associates have made "accommodation or bogus entries of Rs 98.82 crore from Kolkata-based shell firms" in the past.
Rs 2.03 crore in cash and jewellery valued at Rs 17.79 lakh has been seized by the department after the raids even as it recovered Montblanc pens valued at Rs 50 lakh and documents indicating 'benami' assets from the premises linked to the retired IAS officer, who served in top positions during BSP supremo Mayawati's chief ministership.
The department has also sealed 17 bank lockers which will be searched soon and in order to protect the interest of the revenue, immovable properties valued at Rs 225 crore and three luxury cars valued at Rs 1 crore have been provisionally attached under the I-T Act, a senior tax official said.
While the retired bureaucrat could not be contacted, the department claimed that the case was an instance of "sophisticated money laundering".
The department alleged that it has "seized a diary in the handwriting of the officer which contained details of about 20 immovable properties like farm houses, bungalows, flats and other commercial properties".
Net Ram was secretary to Mayawati when she was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister during 2002-03, her third stint in power in the state.
The officer had served in various capacities in UP, including heading the excise, sugar industries and cane department, stamp and registration, food and civil supplies department.