Assets valued at over ₹1,000 crore, belonging to the family of Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar have been provisionally attached by the Income Tax (I-T) department under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, reports said.
The assets include the Jarandeshwar Sahakari Sugar Karkhana in Maharashtra, a flat in Delhi, a resort in Goa and an office in South Mumbai.
I-T sources have said that Pawar and his family are the beneficiaries of the “benami properties” which were bought illegally.
On October 7, the department had conducted raids at a firm where Pawar’s son Parth is a director. Searches were also conducted at a few more companies owned by Pawar’s sisters, two real estate firms linked to Pawar, and at the premises of the directors of four sugar mills across the state, which were apparently also linked to the deputy chief minister.
On October 15, the department had revealed about seizing unaccounted income worth ₹184 crore from the premises of the two real estate groups in Mumbai, linked to Pawar’s family.
The agency said the two firms conducted “suspicious” transactions with the help of an “influential family of Maharashtra” to infuse unaccounted funds across several companies.
Responding to the raids, Pawar had said that all the companies linked to him have been paying taxes regularly.
Alleging that the probe agency is being “misused”, he had expressed his displeasure over the searches at the premises of his sisters even though they got married “34 to 40 years ago”.
Accusing the BJP of orchestrating the raids, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said it was being done in response to his comments against the saffron party in the Lakhmipur violence in which eight people including four farmers were killed.
“We are not afraid of such guests (tax officials). You can recall how I was sent a notice by the Enforcement Directorate before the state elections (in 2019)…even though I had nothing to do with it. They gave me a notice and Maharashtra taught them a lesson,” he said.
“The same thing is happening with Ajit PAwar and others now. People are witnessing the misuse of power,” Sharad Pawar said.