The Income Tax Department carried out a “search and seizure action” Wednesday in the case of a “leading” Chandigarh-based advocate — practising in the field of commercial arbitration and alternate dispute resolution — who is suspected to be receiving substantial amounts in cash – at least Rs 217 crore – from his clients to allegedly settle their disputes.
During the search, 38 premises across Delhi, NCR and Haryana were covered. Cash amounting to Rs 5.5 crore was seized during the searches, the CBDT said in a statement.
The Board did not identify the advocate. Ten bank lockers have been put under restraint, it said.
“He was suspected to be receiving substantial amounts in cash from his clients to settle their disputes. Incriminating documents of unaccounted cash transactions and investments made by the assessee over several years have been found,” the department said.
The Board, which frames policy for the tax department, I-T raids Chandigarh advocate who took ‘at least Rs 217 cr in cash’ from clients alleged that the lawyer in one case “had received Rs 117 crore from a client in cash, whereas he had shown only Rs 21 crore in his records, which was received through cheque”.
In another case, he is alleged to have received more than Rs 100 crore in cash from an infrastructure and engineering company for its arbitration proceedings with a public sector company, the CBDT said.
“The unaccounted cash received has been invested by the assessee in purchase of residential and commercial properties and in taking over of trusts engaged in running of schools. Evidences recovered indicate investment of more than Rs 100 crore in cash in several properties in posh areas in the last two years,” it said.
The assessee and his associates have also purchased several schools and properties, for which more than Rs 100 crore was “paid in cash”, it said.
He has also taken accommodation entries (hawala funds) worth several crores, it said.
The Board said the search teams have also recovered “substantial digital data reflecting unaccounted transactions of the assessee and his associates who are financiers and builders”.
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