Updated: September 21, 2021 1:07:11 am
The Income Tax (I-T) Department has alleged that former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh concealed income of about Rs 17 crore to evade taxes.
Without naming Deshmukh, the I-T department in a statement said it has searched 30 premises linked to Deshmukh across Nagpur, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata.
The tax authority has alleged that three educational institutions of a trust linked to Deshmukh have “indulged in inflation of expenses in which salaries paid to the employees were partly collected back in cash”. The total amount of inflation by the institutes is pegged at Rs 12 crore.
“During the search, it was also detected that the Trust, apart from the suppression of receipts, has paid substantial amounts to brokers for arranging admissions. Such payments, to the tune of about Rs 87 lakh, have been paid in cash and are completely unaccounted,” said the I-T department.
The tax agency has seized documents, loose sheets and other digital evidence from the premises linked to Deshmukh. According to the tax department, the Deshmukh family indulged in money laundering — a charge that is also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The tax agency said it has found evidence to prove that the trust received “bogus donations” of Rs 4 crore through Delhi-based companies.
“Evidence found during the search clearly indicates concealment of income to the extent of about Rs 17 crore. Several bank lockers found during the course of the search operation have been put under prohibitory orders,” said the I-T department.
Deshmukh is being investigated by the CBI and the ED in connection with an alleged bribery and corruption case.
Last month, the ED filed its first prosecution complaint against Deshmukh’s personal assistant and personal secretary, who are currently behind bars.
The ED has alleged that Deshmukh, while acting as home minister, “received illegal gratification of approximately Rs 4.7 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners” through now dismissed Mumbai Police assistant inspector Sachin Waze, who has been arrested in the Ambani terror scare case.
According to the ED, out of this about Rs 4.18 crore was deposited in cash with four Delhi-based shell companies — Reliable Finance Corporation Pvt. Ltd, VA Realcon Pvt. Ltd., Utsav Securities Pvt. Ltd. and Sital Leasing and Finance Pvt. Ltd. These firms subsequently donated the entire money to Shri Sai Shikshan Sansthan Trust, a charitable trust headed by Deshmukh and his family.
Deshmukh is also under the CBI scanner after former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s alleged corruption by the NCP leader. Deshmukh has denied the allegations.
In his March 20 letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he was removed as Mumbai Police chief, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh asked police officers, including Waze, to collect Rs 100 crore, including Rs 40-50 crore each month from 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
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