The Income Tax Department (ITD) on Saturday recovered a huge amount of money and several important documents after conducting searches on multiple premises linked to Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot in connection with an alleged tax evasion case.
The search which is being conducted by the central agency for the last four days resulted in recovering Rs 35 lakh in cash and papers of Benami properties.
The raids were conducted on at least 16 locations linked with the Delhi minister and were conducted by a team of about 30 ITD sleuths in and around the national capital.
The searches are being conducted in connection with a tax evasion probe against two construction firms linked to the minister and others. Searches were held at Brisk Infrastructure and Developers Ltd and Corporate International Financial Services Ltd.
Gahlot holds several portfolios in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, including transport, law, revenue and administrative reforms and information technology. He represents Najafgarh Constituency in the Delhi Assembly.
Just after the search operations had started, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apologise to the people for "constantly troubling" the Delhi government.
On Friday, alleging "harassment" by the Income Tax department, several AAP legislators met Gahlot at his residence. Expressing solidarity with Gahlot and protesting the presence of IT officials at his premises since Wednesday, the MLAs questioned the agency over the prolonged search.
The lawmakers of the ruling party in Delhi, who visited Gahlot's residence at Vasant Kunj, included Nitin Tyagi, Kartar Singh and Naresh Yadav among others.
"The IT people raiding @kgahlot are doing no activity since 8 pm last night. Except having dinner, sleeping and having tea. If the raid work is done why don't these people leave? Harassing a whole family? (sic)," Tyagi said in a tweet. He claimed that when asked about such a long raid at the small flat owned by Gahlot, the IT officials said they were working under orders from the "above".