The Income Tax Department conducted searches on a group running the biggest private multi-specialty 100-bed hospital in Jammu & Kashmir’s Srinagar, which had unaccounted asset transactions of more than ₹100 crore in cash since 2013-14, and unearthed evidence of several “benami properties”.
Seven locations, including four residential premises, were searched during the operation. During the searches, the agency seized ₹82.75 lakh in cash and jewellery/bullion worth ₹35.7 lakh. One bank locker has been sealed.
The core business of the group includes running the hospital, real estate and trading of household consumables.
The alleged suppression of receipts from the hospital operations is being probed. The average turnover shown from the hospital is about ₹10-12 crore since 2015-16, but the agency found actual receipts to be at least four times more. Cash payments of ₹3 crore were also made to various doctors in the current year.
The group is in the practice of buying large chunks of lands in piecemeal and aggregating them. Thereafter, it develops the land and carves out plots and sells them. Evidence showing more than 50% of consideration over and above the registered value of the property received in cash from buyers, has been seized by the agency.
Payments made by buyers of developed plots through banking channels are also under investigation as prima-facie verification showed that the investments have not been made using tax-paid income. Besides, there is a substantial default of tax-detected at source on almost all the purchases and sales.
The search also revealed substantial evasion of stamp duty on the cash paid as sale consideration over and above the properties’ registered value.
As it turned out, people had also taken a number of plots/land as gifts from various unrelated persons and they had not shown any income on this count. The cases of such donors are also under the scanner for suspected tax evasion.
One of the taxpayers of the group engaged in trading of household consumables had made cash purchases worth ₹2 crore in six months during 2019-20, in violation of tax provisions.