New Delhi/Mumbai: Income-tax sleuths on Monday raided Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre and the office of its trust, whose members have been accused of money laundering and tax evasion.
The raid took place five days after the Supreme Court admitted a public interest petition based on media reports that trustees of Lilavati Memorial Hospital Trust, as well as the directors of some banks, held black money in foreign accounts .
“This is to confirm that income-tax department today has conducted a search operation at Lilavati Hospital, which is their routine work and we are cooperating with them,” Niket Vijay Mehta, managing partner and permanent trustee, Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical Trust, which runs the hospital and research centre, said in a press release. “Let me assure you that the functioning of the hospital is unaffected and the patients are being taken care of by our doctors.”
B.P Gaur, director general of I-T (investigation), also confirmed the search but declined to divulge details.
The court also issued notices to the finance ministry’s department of economic affairs, Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, ministry of corporate affairs, Enforcement Directorate and Central Board of Direct Taxes to know if the government and its agencies are aware of violations of the kind being alleged in the petition and media reports.
The court is already hearing a public interest litigation on black money filed by senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani. The government has told the court it is aware that some Indian citizens have illicit foreign bank accounts, but was not willing to disclose their names.
Mint reported on 10 February that the government had levied a tax demand of Rs 24.26 crore on 18 individuals with accounts in LGT Bank, all of whom have an aggregate income of Rs 39.66 crore.