The Income Tax Department has issued a tax notice to Congress party for allegedly receiving funds amounting to Rs 170 crore through bogus billing from a Hyderabad-based firm as part of the department’s tax evasion probe in a Rs 3,300-crore hawala racket case, officials said on Tuesday.
Officials said the notice was sent as part of the post-search verification following multiple raids conducted in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad last month.
According to officials, the funds to Congress were sent by a Hyderabad-based infrastructure group.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had in a statement in November said that raids were conducted on 42 premises in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Erode, Pune, Agra and Goa on a group of people allegedly issuing bogus bills and conducting hawala transactions.
“The search action was successful in unearthing incriminating evidences and establishing the nexus between big corporates, hawala operators and identification of entire chain of delivery, as well as siphoning of funds by way of bogus contracts to the tune of Rs 3,300 crore,” the CBDT had said.
The raids resulted in busting of a “major racket of cash generation” by leading corporate houses in the infrastructure sector through bogus contracts and bills, it said. According to the CBDT, funds meant for public infrastructure projects were siphoned off through entry operators, lobbyists and hawala dealers in this case.
The companies involved in siphoning of funds were said to be mostly located in the National Capital Region and Mumbai.
“The projects involved in bogus billing are major infrastructure and EWS (economically weaker section) projects located in south India. Evidence of cash payment of more than Rs 150 crore to a prominent person in Andhra Pradesh has also been unearthed during the search,” the CBDT had said. “Unexplained cash of Rs 4.19 crore and jewellery worth more than Rs 3.2 crore was also seized during the search operation,” it had said.