The Income Tax (I-T) raids on 47 locations in Karnataka and three other states, including on the premises of a close aide of former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, has reportedly unearthed undisclosed income of ₹750 crore. The five-day search and seizure operation started on October 7 and 300 officers were part of it. It was directed at three contractors of irrigation and highway projects in Bengaluru.
“These three were involved in the suppression of their income by resorting to bogus purchases; inflation of labour expenses; booking of bogus sub-contract expenses and so on,” the Income Tax department said.
The investigation, reports said, revealed that one of them had booked ‘bogus sub-contract expenses’ in the name of 40 individuals who had no link to or experience in the construction business.
One of the groups admitted to having been involved in the inflation of ₹382 crore as labour expenses. Another group took ‘accommodation entries’ from non-existing paper companies amounting to ₹105 crore.
The officials seized various documents and digital records. They also found unaccounted cash amounting to ₹4.69 crore, silver articles valued at ₹29.83 lakh and jewellery and bullion of ₹8.67 crore. It all accounted for an undisclosed income of ₹750 crore, I-T sources said. The department said that the three ‘groups’ [companies of the three individuals] admitted to possessing ₹487 crore in undisclosed income.
Raids were conducted on the properties of one Umesh as well. Umesh, a driver-cum-conductor with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), had served as personal assistant (PA) to Yediyurappa when the latter was Chief Minister. He continued to work in the CMO even after Basavaraj Bommai took over as Chief Minister. A day after the searches, the BMTC withdrew his deputation to the CM’s office.
JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said the raid was the outcome of the internal conflict ion the BJP.