The Income Tax Department, which had raided Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Ramamohan Rao’s home and office and a his relatives’ houses on Wednesday, said that they found Rs 30 lakh in new Rs 2,000 notes, five kilograms of gold and documents with details of undisclosed assets worth Rs 5 crore, reported The Indian Express. Apart from Rao’s residence in Chennai’s Anna Nagar neighbourhood and his office at the state Secretariat, searches were also conducted at his son’s house in Thiruvanmiyur, that of his daughter in Manapakkam and seven other locations.
A majority of the cash and gold was found at the homes of Rao’s son Vivek and his in-laws. The chief secretary, who was appointed to his post in June, allegedly has close links with Shekhar Reddy, a businessman from whom officials seized at least Rs 90 crore in cash and 100 kilograms of gold in raids at eight locations in Chennai on December 8.
Tax officials said Reddy was in regular touch with Rao. “Reddy had direct access to both Rao and a senior politician of the ruling party. We couldn’t raid the politician as we don’t have enough evidence to link him to the illegal transactions,” said a tax official told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Reddy on Wednesday. The agency has also launched a parallel inquiry into investigate the allegations that the Reserve Bank of India and two private banks had helped Reddy exchange notes in the first two weeks after the demonetisation decision was announced on November 8.
Reddy, a sand mining baron, is also a member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Trust. He had reportedly visited Apollo hospital to offer the temple’s prasad to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on October 12, when she was undergoing treatment before she died on December 5.
Later, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the raid “vindictive, unethical and technically improper”. “Earlier, the principal secretary of Arvind Kejriwal was raided and harassed,” she said. “Now I read that the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu has also been raided...Is it only to disturb the federal structure? Why don’t they raid Amit Shah and others who are collecting money?”