IT dept unearths undisclosed transactions worth Rs 105 cr of Srinagar group

The Income Tax Department carried out search and seizure on a group of three assessees at several locations in Srinagar and Delhi, and unearthed total undisclosed investments and cash transactions of Rs 105 crore, officials said on Friday.

According to an official statement, searches were conducted at 15 residential and business premises on Thursday out of which 14 were in Srinagar and one was 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 said in a statement.

The department said that the group also owns a huge mall of 75,000 sq ft in Srinagar, but added that 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 (erstwhile) state government, at a throwaway price. The search has uncovered evidences of unexplained investment of more than Rs 25 crore in this mall," the statement 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," it added.

The Income Tax department said that the group is also running a school, under a trust which is not registered under the Income-tax Act, 1961, and added that one of the trustees has admitted to having withdrawn substantial cash from the said trust which has been diverted towards other business purposes and personal expenses of the group.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, the department said in the statement.

It said that the search has lead to the 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, and all the properties are being referred for valuation, the statement said.

"An engineering consulting 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 evaluations have been done by it, with consultancy receipts of more than Rs 4 crore, in the last six financial years," it said.

The department said that the 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 Jammu and Kashmir Bank and added that most of such loans have become non-performing assets (NPA) as per the bank.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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