The head office of real estate developer Emaar MGF Land Ltd here was subjected to a day-long Income Tax Department search on Wednesday.
Income Tax department officers confirmed Friday that the department had carried out a search at the developer’s Connaught Place offices but, in keeping with government policy, declined to elaborate.
A spokesperson for Emaar MGF said that “the income-tax department conducted a search at our office as a part of their routine activity. The company co-operated with the authorities in the exercise.” The spokesperson declined to elaborate on the reason for the search or what documents were sought by the tax officials. One senior income tax official, who did not want to be named, said that real estate sector was one of the high performing sectors that the department was currently focused on.
The search comes at a somewhat awkward time for the company, which is a joint venture between Dubai’s largest real estate developer, Emaar Properties PJSC, and Indian real estate developer, MGF Developments Ltd. Emaar MGF, which has projects in some 30 cities and has said it plans to invest $12 billion over the next four-five years in Indian real estate projects, is planning an initial public offer to raise funds. An income tax search by itself doesn’t imply any wrongdoing. A search requires a warrant that is approved by the director general of investigations, the highest ranking investigation official in the department. And a raid can take place only after this officer approves the “satisfaction note,” which records reasons for a search to be conducted.