I-T raids on Kashmiri business house reveal startling details

Srinagar: Income Tax raids underway at one of the private offices of Srinagar's Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran, on June 11, 2019. According to informed sources, the team carried out raids at the offices located in the Old City's Bohri Kadal area and Nowgam in the outskirts of the city.

Srinagar,  The day-long income tax (I-T) raids on 10 business premises of Sheikh Imran, the Deputy Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, have revealed startling details.

Informed sources said that I-T officials raided eight business premises of Imran in Srinagar and Jammu and one each in Delhi and Bengaluru.

Twenty-three accounts related to Imran’s business enterprises — collectively known as Kehwah group — have been declared as non-performing assets (NPAs) by the J&K Bank.

A statement issued by Surabhi Ahluwalia, Commissioner of Income Tax (media and technical policy), said: “The I-T Department conducted search and seizure operations on June 11, 2019 on a prominent business group based in Srinagar, covering 8 premises in Srinagar and 1 each in Bangalore and Delhi. The assessee group is engaged in the business of transportation, manufacturing of silk yarn, hospitality, retail trading of Kashmiri arts and crafts etc.

“None of the members of the group is regular in filing their I-T returns. As a one time settlement, the group has got their loans of Rs 170 crore with J&K Bank restructured for a sum of Rs 77 crore, out of which, payment of only Rs 50.34 crore to the J&K Bank has been made so far and balance of Rs 27.66 crore is yet to be paid.”

The statement further said, “During the search, evidence has been detected indicating that the one time settlement of the loan from J&K Bank has been done through the active connivance of a senior J&K Bank officer who was receiving several out of turn promotions.

“Furthermore, evidence has also been unearthed indicating that the repayment of Rs 50.34 crore pertaining to the said loan has been greenfielded by the J&K Bank by granting loan of similar amount to an associate who has confessed to his role in layering the entire transaction.”

During the search, incriminating evidence was found relating to sale of undisclosed property amounting to Rs 22 crore, agreement to sell transport business for Rs 9.10 crore, undisclosed profit of Rs 15-20 crore on account of sale of cold storage plant in Lassipora, the statement said.

“The cost of this project was found to have been inflated to Rs 47 crore instead of the actual cost of Rs 17 crore, for claiming more subsidy from the government by raising inflated and bogus bills. The loan for this project was taken from J&K Bank,” it added.