Author: Sidhartha, TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: March 4, 2017
Tax authorities have attached more than 100 bighas of land in the capital as well as shares in companies allegedly linked to Delhi minister Satyendar Jain, under the law against benami property — a move that's likely to further strain relations between the Centre and the AAP government. Sources said the investment value of the land was estimated at around Rs 17 crore while shares were worth around Rs 16 crore. The market value is seen to be much higher.
Notices for provisional attachment were served on February 27 with four companies receiving them. In the notices issued to Indo Metalimpex, Akinchan Developers, Prayas Infosolutions and Mangalyatan Projects, the initiating officer under the Prohibition of Benami Probition of Benami Properties Transactions Act has accused Jain of getting irregular book entries to acqui re shares in the company in return for cash payments.
Around 69 bighas of farm land belonging to Indo Metalimpex alone has been attached. Jain is one of the most powerful ministers in the Delhi government and in-charge of several key portfolios such as PWD, transport and health.
Jain did not respond to TOI's queries on the subject. In line with the law, the provisional attachment is for 90 days with Jain and other entities given time to respond.
Arguing for attachment of property, the authorities alleged that the assets were acquired from money involving benami transactions and said the move was necessary as they feared that the assets could be alienated by transfer of shares.
The Delhi minister is being separately investigated under the Income Tax Act for allegedly concealing his income. Initially, some of the companies linked to him were being probed and Jain had been summoned by the authorities, which he said was in his capacity as a witness.Subsequently , he was issued notices in his personal capacity.
The tax department is investigating Jain's alleged links with Jivendra Mishra, Abhishek Chokhani and Rajendra Bansal who are accused of being entry operators based in Kolkata. Entry operators are known to accept cash and issue shares at a premium in companies which exist largely on paper after routing the funds through several entities.
The Centre has had a bitter relationship with Arvind Kejriwal's party.AAP has accused the Narendra Modi government of using Delhi Police and other agencies to harass its lawmakers and ministers in fake cases.