Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR: The Income Tax Department on Thursday carried out a chain of raids and searched 15 premises of a major business group-14 in Srinagar and one in Delhi-while claiming seizure of huge amounts of cash and jewellery and alleging that unaccounted investment worth crores of Rupees had prima facie surfaced.“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 led to a seizure of unaccounted cash amounting to Rs 1.82 crore and jewellery/bullion worth Rs 74.00 lakh. Total undisclosed investments and cash transactions of Rs 105 crore of the group have been unearthed during the search”, said a press release from Central Board of Direct Taxes of the Union Ministry of Finance.
3 bank lockers, cash worth Rs 1.82 crore, jewellery worth Rs 74 lakh seized; unaccounted investment of over Rs 100 crore detected
“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 ‘Roshni Act’) from the State Govt at a throwaway price. The search has uncovered evidences of unexplained investment of more than Rs 25.00 crore in this mall”, the press release added.Knowledgeable sources told STATE TIMES that the IT Department had received detailed information about the group having raised a multiple storey commercial complex, one of the biggest in Srinagar, from Residency Road to Maulana Azad Road, near the office of SP City (East) and Kothibagh Police Station. Two of the group’s partners, according to the information, had already a major business complex and a hotel opposite to the newly constructed mega mall on Residency Road.According to the information, one of the group partners from the famous business family of Kawoosas has constructed another set of buildings in Lalbazar area of Srinagar over a land of 90 kanals and set up the Srinagar branch of G.D Goenka School on that premises.“The group is also constructing 6 residential towers in Srinagar, out of which 2 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 20.00 crore in this project”, said the press release further.It added: “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 unexplained investment of around Rs 10.00 crore in this school building”.“The search has led to recovery of incriminating evidences 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”, the IT press release added.“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 40.00 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 these properties to avail maximum loans from J&K Bank. Most of such loans have become NPA as per the bank. Details of such persons have been seized for making further enquiries”, said the press release. It informed that the investigation was in progress.
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