New Delhi: The income-tax (I-T) department on Saturday conducted searches on the premises of the Sahara group in the national capital and adjoining areas on charges of tax evasion.
People aware of the development said the searches were launched by the taxman at at least three locations of the group, one in Delhi and two in the National Capital Region, as part of its “tax related demands” against the business group.
The searches, the people said, were on till late in the evening and I-T sleuths have seized some documents, electronic records and cash from the premises.
When contacted by Press Trust of India, Sahara group confirmed the development but expressed ignorance as to why this action was being taken against it.
“We do not know what is the case and why all these raids are done. Please also note that there is some amount found by the agency during the raid. To clear the ambiguity from the beginning and stop any speculation, we would like to upfront inform that each and every penny found is accounted and company’s legitimate money. Since last one year, we are facing complete embargo on our properties and for 20 months all our accounts were frozen and the entire amount of freezed accounts have been paid to Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India),” a Sahara spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said “under such circumstances we are tightly managing the affairs of our big organization and, hence, some legitimate cash is kept at various points for various kinds of requirements and higher emergencies. As getting bigger amounts from bank account is extremely difficult and when and which account Sebi will cease, we do not know,” he added.
Recently, another central investigative agency—the Enforcement Directorate (ED)—registered a money laundering case against the group in connection with non-payment of crores of rupees to depositors as probed by capital markets regulator Sebi.
The criminal case was registered by Mumbai zonal office of the ED, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), after it got reports in this regard from Sebi.