The Income Tax Department has alleged that former Maharashtra Home Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh concealed income of about Rs 17 crore to evade taxes, reported The Indian Express on Tuesday.
The department had raided properties linked to Deshmukh in connection with an alleged tax evasion case on September 17. Besides the tax department, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate are also investigating money-laundering and extortion charges against the former Maharashtra minister.
The tax raids were conducted a day after the Enforcement Directorate filed a chargesheet in its case against Deshmukh.
In a statement, the Income Tax Department said it has searched 30 premises linked to Deshmukh across Mumbai, Nagpur, Delhi and Kolkata.
The department alleged that three educational institutions of a trust linked to Deshmukh had “indulged in inflation of expenses”. It said that the trust partly collected back salaries paid to their employees in cash and put the amount recovered at Rs 12 crore.
“During the search, it was also detected that the trust, apart from the suppression of receipts, has paid substantial amounts to brokers for arranging admissions,” the statement alleged. “Such payments, to the tune of about Rs 87 lakh, have been paid in cash and are completely unaccounted.”
The tax officials also seized seized documents and other digital evidence from the premises linked to Deshmukh.
“Evidence for receipt of a bogus donation in the hands of the trust run by the assessee [Deshmukh] group through money laundering, using Delhi-based companies to the extent of Rs 4 crore has been found,” the agency alleged, reported India Today. “This clearly substantiates the laundering of the unaccounted income of the assessee routed as a donation to the trust.”
In the money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate claimed that more than Rs 4 crore collected from bar owners in Mumbai between December and February was routed to Deshmukh’s charitable trust in Nagpur through four shell companies in Delhi.
The cases against Anil Deshmukh
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating Deshmukh’s role in the alleged money laundering case based on a First Information Report filed by the CBI.
The CBI is conducting an investigation on Bombay High Court’s directions into allegations that Deshmukh coerced police officers to extort money on his behalf from the owners of bars and restaurants in Mumbai. Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh had levelled the allegations of extortion in March.
Singh had alleged that dismissed police officer Sachin Vaze told him that Deshmukh had asked him to collect Rs 100 crore every month through illegal channels.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate had issued five summons to Deshmukh to appear before the agency. But the Nationalist Congress Party leader has not appeared before it yet.
Earlier this month, the Enforcement Directorate had issued a lookout notice against the former Maharashtra minister.