35 lakhs in cash and ‘incriminating documents’ seized in I-T raids at AAP minister’s premises

The Income Tax Department (ITD) on Wednesday had conducted raids on multiple premises associated with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot in connection with an alleged tax evasion case.

A number of Rs 35 lakh in cash was seized and ‘incriminating documents’ of multiple accommodation entries and benami assets were reportedly recovered as IT officials conducted searches in at least 16 locations in Delhi and Gurgaon.

An accommodation entry refers to documents that reflect fake loans transacted by bogus means or shell firms in order to evade taxes.

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The search teams, an official said, raided locations in Delhi’s upscale residential areas like Vasant Kunj and Defence Colony, offices and residences in Paschim Vihar, Najafgarh, Laxmi Nagar and Palam Vihar area in Gurgaon.

The search operations, that were on till late evening yesterday, were being conducted as part of a tax evasion probe against two firms, Brisk Infrastructure and Developers Pvt Ltd, which is involved in real estate business and Corporate International Financial Services Limited, a non-banking financial company, that are operated and owned by the family members of Gahlot, the official said.

Media reports have quoted an I-T department official as saying that the two firms were being probed for tax evasion after reports of multiple undisclosed transactions and alleged under-reporting of profits.

Delhi’s Chief Minister and the AAP supremo, Arvind Kejriwal, condemned the raid with his party calling it a ‘political vendetta’. Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at the Prime Minister asking him to seek an apology to people for what he called ‘constantly troubling’ his government.

Kailash Gahlot is the minister for transport, law and revenue in Arvind Kejriwal cabinet. He represents Najafgarh Assembly constituency in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Before this Kailash Gahlot had managed to be in the news in August 2018 when the apex organisation of IAS officers in the country had ‘condemned’ the alleged ‘misbehaviour’ of Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot with Transport Secretary Varsha Joshi and had called it ‘unacceptable’.

Gehlot had allegedly misbehaved with Joshi during a meeting, which was held to review the replies of the Transport department to questions to be asked in the Monsoon Session of the Assembly, in August 2018.

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