Income Tax department starts 'field inquiries' at Nitin Gadkari-linked Purti group

Jan 23 2013, 14:37 IST
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Gadkari was asked by the IT depart to appear before it yesterday, sought more time to present his case. (Reuters) Gadkari was asked by the IT depart to appear before it yesterday, sought more time to present his case. (Reuters)
SummaryFacing 'scam' probe, Gadkari is likely to be re-elected BJP president.

Income Tax department today launched on-field inquiries at around nine locations in Mumbai belonging to alleged shell companies related to Nitin Gadkari's Purti group, a day before he seeks a second straight term as BJP president.

Sources in the IT department said the exercise by its investigation wing was in continuation of the earlier searches carried out at the shell companies (entities which serve as a vehicle for business transactions without themselves having any significant assets or operations) related to Purti group in Mumbai.

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"We are verifying the addresses of the companies, the nature of the business and (whether) do they really exist," an IT source said.

According to the sources, the inquiries followed "certain doubts" raised by the Pune branch of the department, which asked its Mumbai counterpart to inquire into those.

"If need be, we will record the statements of the persons whose names are shown as directors of these companies," the sources said on condition of anonymity.

Gadkari, who was asked by the Income Tax department to appear before it yesterday in connection with the probe into alleged dubious investments in Purti group of companies, had sought more time to present his case.

Citing his preoccupation with party work as the reason for his inability to appear before the tax authorities, he sought fresh time, sources had said yesterday.

They said he has been asked to appear on February 1.

Gadkari's Chartered Accountant Ravi Chincholkar was one of the two representatives who appeared before the office of Geeta Ravichandran, Joint Director (Investigation) of Income Tax Department here and sought adjournment for producing relevant documents, according to sources close to Gadkari.

Sources also said that there was no need for personal appearance of Gadkari in this matter.

When contacted, Purti group PRO Nitin Kulkarni sought to down play the matter saying that the Chartered Accountant regularly goes to I-T office for company related works.

Gadkari confident income tax raids will not dent his re-election as BJP President

New Delhi: BJP President Nitin Gadkari today said that an income tax raids will not be able keep him from getting an unprecedented second term on Wednesday.

Income Tax department on Tuesday launched inquiries at around nine locations in Mumbai belonging to alleged shell companies related to Gadkari’s Purti group.

Gadkari condemned the raids as calculated, mischievous and politically motivated, terming the Income-Tax department’s attempts to drag his name into its surveys of various companies in Mumbai.

He described the highly questionable move by the IT department as a command performance at the behest of its political masters sitting in New Delhi who have hatched a political conspiracy to tarnish his image.

“Coming as it does on the eve of his re-election as BJP President for a second term, the IT department’s action smacks of the ruling UPA’s nefarious designs to create confusion in the BJP ranks,” A statement issued on behalf of Gadkari said.

The BJP President said he himself had volunteered an inquiry into all the allegations of wrong doing by him and his family in the related matters and has been fully cooperating with the concerned departments since he has nothing to hide and his track record in public life is unblemished.

He also warned the UPA government against indulging in political vendetta against its opponents, and said that such cheap gimmicks will not be able to deviate him from fulfilling his commitment to serving the nation.

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