ED summons top three fashion designers in ‘IT fraud’ case

The political leader, who is a Punjab Congress MLA, had allegedly paid lakhs of rupees in cash to the three fashion designers, ED sources have said.

Ritu Kumar (left) with Anushka Sharma at the launch of the designer's flagship store. Kumar, along with Sabyasachi and Manish, are highly sought after by Bollywood celebrities. Pic: Wikipedia

Prominent names in the fashion world are now in trouble with the country’s Enforcement Directorate. Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi and Ritu Kumar, have reportedly been summoned to explain why they took cash payments running into lakhs of rupees from a Punjab political leader for designer wedding wear.

News18 quoting sources from the ED said that the agency is likely to send a notice to call the three designers to Delhi for questioning.

The political leader, who is a Punjab Congress MLA, had illegally paid lakhs of rupees in cash to the three fashion designers, ED sources said. This was uncovered during a money-laundering investigation by the ED. The three designers had designed clothes for a wedding organised by the politician a few years ago. But, the celebrated trio in the fashion world, took payment for the designer wear in cash, which is a violation of income tax laws.

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A case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been registered against the MLA.

The report added that a case of income tax fraud will soon be registered against the political leader and the three designers. Once the ED has questioned the parties involved and submitted the report, the Income Tax department too will do its own investigation into the case, said the ED sources, the report alleged.

Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi and Ritu Kumar are highly sought after by Bollywood celebrities including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra. They have also clothed many international celebrities as well. Sabyasachi has designed elaborate wedding outfits for Anushka Sharma, Priyanka and Deepika.

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