June 2019 News

Prominent Business Group Booked For Corruption

27 June 2019
Kashmir Reader

Srinagar: A prominent business group on Thursday was booked by the Income Tax (I-T) Department and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for evading taxes and adopting corrupt practices to secure a huge amount of bank loans. The ACB also booked management, officers & officials of the J&K Bank for colluding in the firm's financial irregularities- loan fraud worth crores of rupees. The two government bodies took this action after a joint team of theirs conducted searches on various premises of the firm in the state. According to the IT Department, the evader had been given illegal benefit of Rs 60 crore by J&K Bank, his outstanding loan of Rs 190 crore settled at Rs 130 crore even though he did not deserve any concession. 'The group is engaged in the business of real estate and information technology. There were allegations of large-scale diversion and misappropriation of loans taken from J&K Bank by the group,' said an official statement. 'During the search, it was detected that the tax evader has been given illegal benefit of Rs 60 crore by J&K Bank. His outstanding loan of Rs 190 crore was settled at Rs 130 crore, although he did not deserve any concessional treatment. Additionally, even the reduced bank liability has either been defaulted by him or the repayment has been facilitated by active connivance of bank officials, who have ever greened his loan account by lending to third parties, who, in turn, gave their loaned funds to the tax evader through dubious financial transactions with him,' it added. It said that during the search operation, evidence was found that the main promoter was a director in a Dubai-based company. 'He is also holding and operating a foreign bank account. Neither his interest in the Dubai company nor the foreign bank account has ever been disclosed by him in his tax returns. He is likely to face action under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, as well as other relevant laws of the land for deliberate omission to declare foreign investment as mandated by law,' the statement said. 'During the demonetisation period, the group had made cash deposits of Rs 1.44 crore. The main promoter could not explain the source of these cash deposits during the course of search action,' it added. The Anti Corruption Bureau's office in Jammu found that the proprietors of the firm approached J&K Bank's New University Campus Jammu Branch, for availing loan facility of Rs 74.27 crore for setting up a residential township complex under the name and style of 'Paradise Avenue' at Narwal, Jammu, consisting of 52 flats in each of the towers named Eden & Zion. The loan amount was sanctioned on January 30, 2012, with one of the pre-requisite conditions that the loan has to be disbursed in a phased manner after securing margin of Rs 22.09 crore including unsecured loan of Rs 2.00 crore from the borrowers on pro-rata basis. 'On scrutiny of records of the branch it surfaced that loan amount was in fact sanctioned by the Bank in January 2012 which paved way for the firm to purchase 30 kanals of land from different land owners through registered sale deeds in July 2012 after a gap of six months from sanctioning of loan in favour of the firm, meaning thereby that the loanee firm had no title of land in its name when the loan was sanctioned in Jan 2012 which had to be mortgaged to the bank,' the statement said. It also said that the proprietors of the firm managed to obtain Rs 177.68 crore in loan illegally and fraudulently in connivance with the bank management and its officials. The repayment of the loan amounts, it said, was to start from Sept 2017 with a quarterly installment of Rs 11.27 crore. However, the proprietors turned wilful defaulters by not making repayment of loan with sole objective to get their loan account declared into NPA (non-performing asset).