More than 25 special teams of the Income Tax Department’s Investigation Wing carried out simultaneous raids on the premises of the SRM Group of Companies in Chennai and Tiruchy on Tuesday.
The raids, based on a tip-off, were part of an ongoing probe into alleged tax evasion by the group. The raids began from 7 am and went on till late in the evening at the offices of the SRM Group in Vadapalani, Ramapuram, T Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Kattankulathur, besides Tiruchy, and also at residences of the group’s management.
The group, which was started by T R Pachamuthu with a Polytechnic College in 1983, expanded its presence into various fields including hospitality, transport and health. Now, the group has the SRM University, SRM Technologies, SRM Electronics, SRM Learning Tree, SRM Transports, SRM Hospitals, SRM Hotels, SRM Media & Entertainment, SRM Engineering Constructions, SRM Power & Energy, SRM Publications and SRM Group of Institutions in its fold.
At present, the group owns Puthiya Thalaimurai, a 24/7 news channel in Tamil, and a Tamil weekly launched in the same name (Puthiya Thalaimurai), a few years ago.
Sources said that the raids were part of a probe into tax evasion by the group’s management and friends of Pachamuthu who were into business.
Pachamuthu floated the India Jananayaka Katchi (IJK) and contested the 2011 Assembly Election.
A senior official with the I-T Department told Express that the agency would need time up till Wednesday afternoon to collate all the information obtained during the raids.
Evading other questions about the raid, the official however said that a detailed handout will be issued by the agency by Wednesday afternoon. In Tiruchy, a 10-member team of I-T officials conducted raids at the SRM Hotel and Chennai Medical College Hospital and Research Centre.
The officials, who entered the SRM Hotel on Race Course Road around 9.30 am, conducted a thorough inspection of the documents, and are said to have taken a few papers with them.
The raid lasted for more than four hours.
A similar search was conducted at CMCH and RC on the Tiruchy-Chennai Highway. The team conducted a detailed inspection there and took along with them a list of candidates admitted in the previous years.