I-T raids continue on day 3 to unearth Rs 281 crore racket of unaccounted cash, pressure mounts on Kamal Nath
The I-T officials have recovered over Rs 10 crore cash including some documents from Ashwin Sharma's residence. He is an associate of Praveen Kakkar.
New Delhi: The Income Tax raids (I-T) raids continued on Tuesday morning at the residence of Ashwin Sharma, an associate of Praveen Kakkar, who is officer on special duty (OSD) to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. Security has also been beefed up at his residence.
The I-T officials have recovered over Rs 10 crore cash including some documents from Sharma's residence and are now examining them. Sharma is a manager of a non-government organisation.
Raids began on Sunday morning at the residences of Kakkar in Indore and former advisor to Kamal Nath R K Miglani in Delhi, on charges of alleged tax evasion.
At least 50 locations in Indore, Bhopal, Goa, and NCR were under the radar of the I-T department.
The I-T Department collected unaccounted cash of about Rs 281 crore. After which, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) hinted at the transfer of "cash to the headquarter of a major political party" in Delhi, PTI reported.
"A part of the cash was also transferred to the headquarter of a major political party in Delhi including about Rs 20 crore which was moved through hawala recently to the headquarters of the political party from the residence of a senior functionary at Tughlak Road, New Delhi," said the CBDT in a statement.
"Searches in Madhya Pradesh by Delhi Directorate of Income Tax have detected widespread and well-organised racket of the collection of unaccounted cash of about Rs 281 crore through various persons in different walks of life including business, politics and public service," it added.
ANI earlier reported that Kakkar`s son Salil was also interrogated by the I-T officials while raids were being carried out. Sharma allegedly had got most of Kakkar's companies registered in the name of Salil.
Kakkar termed the raids as 'political operation,' and told ANI, "Despite the two-day-long raid, they (I-T Department) didn`t find any document that they could seize, they didn`t recover any cash or jewellery. They didn`t find anything objectionable, it was a political operation."
A huge amount of cash, gold and silver jewellery were recovered from Kakkar`s home. Documents linked to transfer of government officials was also seized.
On Sunday night, a heated argument also broke out between CRPF and Madhya Pradesh Police officials when I-T officials went to raid Sharma's home.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is also a former MP CM, slammed the Kamal Nath-led state government and said that what Mamata Banerjee did in West Bengal, the same is happening in Madhya Pradesh.
"I am surprised that the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh instead of cooperating, he is trying to stop the Income Tax Department`s proceedings. What Mamata ji did in West Bengal, the same game is being played in MP," Chouhan said at a press conference, adding that the chief minister is trying to save the corrupt by stopping the proceedings of I-T Department.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya also launched a scathing attack on the state government and said, "Black money worth crores was recovered during the Income Tax department's raid at the house of private secretary of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. This has made one thing clear that those who are thieves have a complaint against the watchman."
However, Kamal Nath is yet to give a statement on the I-T raids. When he was asked for a comment on the raids on Saturday, he evaded the questions and said he has no clue and is not aware of the situation.
(With inputs from agencies)