OFFICIALS of the Income-Tax (I-T) department on Wednesday conducted raids at educational institutes run by the Dr D Y Patil Pratishtan in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Kolhapur and Nerul. The raids that started around 7.30 in the morning continued till late evening and are expected to continue for the next three days at the institutes that belong to the family of Dr D Y Patil, who had served as the governor of Tripura, Bihar and West Bengal.
The raids — by the Director-General (investigations) of I-T in Pune and Mumbai —were conducted at the dental, medical, pharmacy and engineering colleges of D Y Patil Pratishthan. According to sources, the raids had been in the works since the last six months.
On Wednesday morning, at around 5.30 am, 125 police and I-T personnel from Pune, 100 from Kolhapur and 150 from Mumbai left their offices simultaneously to start the raids that covered 12-13 institutes of the D Y Patil group in Pune, eight-10 in Kolhapur and the rest in Mumbai. Along with the premises of the educational institutes, the residences of all the members of the D Y Patil family were also searched — this included those of Satej Patil, former Minister of State for Home in the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra, Sanjay
Patil, Ajinkya Patil and also son-in-law P D Patil as well as top officials like the CFO and COO of the group.
Sources said the focus was to ascertain if the educational institutes under the group were taking any donations for admissions to various courses particularly medical, post-graduate medical and some engineering seats. Hence, the residences of some agents facilitating admissions were also raided.
At the scene of the raids, the I-T officials, who spent considerable amount of time in the Dean and Administration office of D Y Patil medical college in Pimpri, had blocked any entry to the area.
The police personnel and the institute’s security personnel were told not to allow anybody inside the premises even as the I-T officials were busy scouring the documents of the institutes.
As many as nine Innova cars and other vehicles were seen parked inside the premises of the D Y Patil College at Pimpri since 7.30 in the morning. The tax department sent out at least 275 officials in at least 80 cars to the sprawling campus of D Y Patil University in Nerul at around 10 am on Wednesday. Another 25 tax inspectors were put on standby. The tax authority had divided the search teams with a deputy commissioner of income tax in charge of each team. Each team had at least 15 inspectors and tax officers. At the I-T office in South Mumbai, over a dozen police officers were deployed for the raids to ensure safety of the seized documents.
Today’s raid is said to be the first of its kind action against the institute. The family of D Y Patil, who was a Congressman before becoming governor, had always owed allegiance to the Congress. His son, Satej Patil, was the Minister of State for Home in the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra. “During the tenure of Congress-NCP government, the D Y Patil institutes had never faced this kind of action,” said Maruti Bhapkar of the Swaraj Abhiyan.