The Election Commission has taken cognisance of the searches where the I-T Department has said that unaccounted wealth of about Rs 281 crore has been unearthed.

Rs 281 crore seized in raids on MP CM Kamal Naths aides All you need to knowPTI
news I-T raids Tuesday, April 09, 2019 - 14:33

Since early Sunday morning, a team of over 300 officials of the Income Tax Department has been raiding the homes and properties of the associates and aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. The people searched include the Chief Minister’s former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Pravin Kakkar, his former advisor Rajendra Miglani and Ashwani Sharma. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has stated that unaccounted wealth of about Rs 281 crore has been unearthed. The Election Commission has taken cognisance of the searches. 

Here is a timeline of events of all that has happened since Sunday:

  • On Sunday at around 3 am, I-T officials began to carry out searches at 52 locations across three states – in Bhopal, Indore, Delhi-NCR and Goa. More than 300 officials were deployed to carry out the searches. 
  • In addition to Pravin Kakkar, Rajendra Miglani, and Ashwani Sharma, executives linked to his brother-in-law's firm Moser Bayer and a company of his nephew Ratul Puri were also raided. 
  • The department had received a tip-off of large-scale collection, possession and movement of unaccounted assets.
  • On Monday, the Income Tax Department stated on Twitter that unaccounted cash of Rs 14.6 crore has been found and diaries and computer files of suspect payments were recovered in the raids conducted. It added that a trail of Rs 20 crore suspect cash allegedly being moved to the "headquarter of a major political party in Delhi" has also been detected.
  • Apart from cash, the Income Tax officials have also recovered 252 bottles of liquor, some arms and tiger hides. A large amount of cash, gold and silver jewellery was recovered from Kakkar's house in Indore and Sharma's house in Bhopal. 
  • In searches conducted in New Delhi on a group owned by a close relative of Kamal Nath, the CBDT said it has seized "incriminating evidence, including cash book recording unaccounted transactions of Rs 230 crore, siphoning off money through bogus billing of more than Rs 242 crore and evidence of more than 80 companies in tax havens." Several unaccounted/Benami properties at posh locations in Delhi have also been detected, the department added.
  • The CBDT has informed the Election Commission of India about the searches and stated that the instances of violations of the Model Code of Conduct are being brought to the notice of the poll panel.
  • CBDT Chairman PC Mody and Revenue Secretary AB Pandey were summoned by Election Commission in connection with the raids. Both the officers have submitted details about the raids and recovery of items, to the Election Commission.
  • Meanwhile, the searches have triggered a political fight between the Congress, which is in power in Madhya Pradesh, and the BJP government at the Centre. News18 reports that Kamal Nath has accused the BJP of trying to pressurise the state government through I-T raids and that political pressure will not work.  
  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has dismissed Kamal Nath’s allegations, stating that there was no political influence from the BJP and that the agency was working based on inputs it had received independently. 
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