The Income Tax Department has issued a notice to Sahara Group’s Aamby Valley Ltd, asking the corporate giant to pay tax and a penalty worth Rs 24,646 crore, PTI reported on Tuesday. The notice was issued after I-T officials conducted a special audit of the company and found that income of more than Rs 48,000 crore had not been declared in the company’s records in the 2012-’13 assessment year.
A Sahara Group spokesperson has confirmed that they were sent the notice. “Yes, the Income Tax Department has raised Rs 48,085.79 crore to the income of Aamby Valley Ltd with a total tax demand of Rs 24,646.96 crore,” the spokesperson told PTI.
In its 2102-’13 audit books, Aamby Valley had shown a loss of some Rs 14 crore. But the special audit revealed that the company had floated eight special purpose vehicles and had earned more than Rs 27,000 crore.
This is the biggest tax penalty imposed on any corporate house in India, according to The Times of India. The I-T notice was issued in January.
Last week, the Supreme Court had ordered the auction of the Aamby Valley property in Maharashtra’s Lonavala after owner Sahara India Pariwar failed to deposit money to refund its investors. The bench had asked the Bombay High Court to act as the liquidator in the sale of the prime property, which is valued at more than Rs 39,000 crore. The top court had also directed Sahara chief Subrata Roy (pictured above) to be present at the next hearing on April 28.
On February 6, the Supreme Court had ordered the attachment of the Aamby Valley property to recover dues from the company. The court had extended Roy’s parole after a sum of Rs 600 crore was deposited with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The company had acknowledged that it owed Rs 14,000 crore as principal money to Sebi, but the top court had denied its offer to clear its dues by July 2019. The bench, led by Justice Dipak Misra, had ordered the attachment to fast-track recovery of the dues.
The Sahara Group has been embroiled in a lengthy court battle with the market regulator over a case involving a Rs 24,000-crore refund to investors. The apex court had said it would focus on the repayment of the principal amount before ensuring that the group repays the interest.