The Income Tax Division (I-T) has searched a Chandigarh-based "leading" attorney for alleged tax evasion and receipt of 217 rupees "in cash," tax officials said Thursday. Rs 5.5 billion in cash were seized during searches.
The department raided 38 premises associated with the lawyer in Haryana, Delhi and the national capital region on Wednesday.
A statement from the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) said that Rs 5.5 billion cash was seized during searches carried out against the attorney involved in commercial arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.
The board did not identify the lawyer.
Ten safe deposit boxes were withheld, it said.
“He was suspected of having received significant amounts of money from his customers to help settle their disputes. Incriminating documents were found about unrecognized cash transactions and investments made by the assessee over a number of years, ”the department said.
The CBDT, which sets policy for the tax department, claimed the attorney had "received Rs 117 billion in cash from a client in one case, while his filing only reported Rs 21 billion received by check" .
In another case, he received more than 100 billion rupees in cash from an infrastructure and engineering firm for arbitration with a public sector company, according to the CBDT.
“The unrecognized money received was invested by the Assessee in the purchase of residential and commercial real estate and in the acquisition of trusts that are involved in running schools. The recovered evidence suggests that more than Rs.100 billion has been invested in cash in several properties in posh areas in the past two years, ”it said.
The Assessee and his staff have also bought several schools and properties for which more than 100 rupees were "paid in cash".
He has also taken accommodation entries (hawala funds) worth several crores, it said.
The board said the search teams also "recovered extensive digital data reflecting unrecorded transactions by the assessee and his staff, who are financiers and builders."