Cash worth over Rs 1.64 crore, Mont Blanc pens of Rs 50 lakh, four luxury SUVs and documents indicating benami assets of Rs 300 crore have been recovered during the I-T Department raids on premises linked to a retired IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, who served in top positions during Mayawati’s chief ministership, officials said Wednesday.
The taxman had swooped down on a dozen premises linked to 1979-batch Indian Administrative Service officer Net Ram after it had “credible inputs” that the former top bureaucrat and his associates have made “accommodation or bogus entries of about Rs 95 crore from Kolkata-based shell firms” in the past, including in the post-demonetisation period.
They said after the over 26-hours long searches, the department has recovered a total of Rs 1.64 crore in cash from three houses in Lucknow and Delhi, while another Rs 50 lakh is believed to be stashed in a bank locker, which will soon be opened.
The officials said the former bureaucrat was “negotiating” for a Lok Sabha ticket from a party and that is when he came under the scanner of the tax department.
Officials also recovered Mont Blanc pens of Rs 50 lakh, four ‘benami’ luxury cars, including a Mercedes and two Fortuners, and documents that indicate illegal assets worth around Rs 225 crore.
Documents related to 30 shell firms, in which Net Ram’s family members and in-law’s were shareholders, have been recovered and are being scrutinised. The searches resulted in the detection of six properties in posh locations of Delhi (KG Marg and GK-I) and Mumbai (Babulnath on Charni road and Huges road) and three houses in Kolkata purchased “out of bogus share capital of Rs 95 crore”, they said.
Net Ram was secretary to then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati during 2002-03, her third stint in power in the state. The officer has served in various capacities in UP, including heading the excise, sugar industries and cane department, stamp and registration, food and civil supplies department.