Bengaluru: Huge deposits of cash and gold have been recovered from the home of Karnataka minister, Congress’s Ramesh L Jarkiholi and Laxmi R Hebbalkar, the chief of the state Congress women’s wing, following raids by the income tax department. Rs. 41 lakh in cash and 12.8 kg of gold were found during the raids at their homes in Belgaum, Gokak and Bengaluru. The department also said there was an “admission of undisclosed income” to the tune of Rs. 162 crore.
The Income Tax department said there was evidence that the companies of Mr Jarkiholi, the minister of small-scale Industries, and Ms Hebbalkar — both of whom are involved in sugar business — had evaded taxes in a “systematic” and “organised” manner.
Mr Jarkiholi and Ms Hebbalkar were not available for comments. News agency Press Trust of India quoted Mr Jarkiholi as saying the raids were a “political controversy”. “I have not committed any wrong… The I-T officials had visited us in Belagavi and we have cooperated with them. Even in future, we would cooperate with the officials,” PTI quoted him as saying.
The searches, a statement from the Income Tax department said, were launched on January 19 to probe allegations of tax evasion in the business groups. The investigators had found “huge unexplained cash deposits” in the bank accounts of family members and associates of the two leaders.
“It was also detected that non-existent persons have been made shareholders and investors in one of the sugar companies,” the statement said. There was also evidence of non-existent persons been made shareholders and investors in one of the sugar companies, of bogus assets and siphoning off money.
The IT department also said during the search operation, mobs had gathered around the premises in Gokak and Belgaum and attempts were made to disrupt law and order.
The department said they have issued summons to a number of people allegedly involved in the case to take the investigation forward.