I-T raids group running multi-speciality hospital in Srinagar


Income Tax (IT) department has conducted a search and seizure operation on a group, running the biggest private multi-speciality Hospital in Srinagar with more than 100 beds, on charges of unaccounted property transactions of more than Rs 100 crore in cash since 2013-14 onwards.

Seven premises, including four residential places, all in Srinagar, were covered in the search conducted on Friday, the IT department said on Sunday, withholding names of the Hospital and the group.

The core business of the group includes running of the hospital, real estate and trading of household consumables.

“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,” the IT department said in a statement.

Evidence showing more than 50 per cent of consideration (over and above the registered value of the property) received in cash from buyers, has been seized during the search operation, said the statement, adding such sale consideration received in cash has never been offered to tax.

“The group has made unaccounted property transactions of more than Rs 100 crore in cash since 2013-14 onwards. The payments or investments made through banking channels by the buyers of plots are also under investigation as prima-facie verification has shown that the investments have not been made using tax paid income.

“Thus, taxes will be leviable not only on the seller group but the buyers also, depending on the facts of the cases. There is substantial default of TDS on almost all purchases and sales of land and plots,” it said.

Further, the statement said, the search has revealed substantial evasion of stamp duty due to the state government or union territory on cash paid as sale consideration over and above the registered value of the property.

“The information in this regard will be shared with the J&K Union Territory authority for levy of stamp duty on the entire sale consideration, as evident from the seized documents and notification of circle rates as per the prevailing market rates.”

During the search, the department said it was also seen that the individuals have taken a number of plots or land as gifts from various unrelated individuals, and they have not shown any income on this score u/s 56 of the I.T. Act, 1961 even though the same is chargeable to tax in the hands of the donee as income from other sources.

The cases of the donors are also under investigation from the perspective of evasion of income tax.

Further, it said, one of the taxpayers of this group engaged in trading of household consumables has made cash purchases of household consumables worth Rs 2 crore in six months in 2019-20, in violation of tax provisions which mandate payment of more than Rs 10,000 at a time through banking channels only.

Evidence of various Benami Properties has also been unearthed and seized during the search and these are under investigation.

The department said that the suppression of receipts from the running of the hospital is under investigation.

It said that the average turnover shown by the hospital is around Rs 10-12 crore since 2015-16, however, seized evidence shows actual receipts to be at least four times more.

“Evidence showing cash payments of Rs 3 crore, made to various doctors in the current year, has been seized during the search. Cash of Rs 82.75 lakh and Jewellery and Bullion worth Rs 35.7 lakh have been seized as the concerned persons from whose custody these were found were not able to explain the same. One Bank Locker has also been sealed.”