Srinagar-Based Group Got Illegal Benefits From J&K Bank: Official

Srinagar: The Income Tax (I-T) Department on Thursday conducted search and seizure operations against a Srinagar-based business group with interests in real estate and information technology on allegations of large scale diversion and misappropriation of loans taken from the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Bank, an official statement said.

The raids were conducted in Kashmir, Jammu, Ludhiana and the National Capital Region. “During the search, it was detected that the tax evader has been given illegal benefit of Rs. 60 crore by the J&K Bank,” the statement said.

The statement did not disclose the name of the company or its promoters.

But Hilal Ahmad Rather, whose father Abdul Rahim Rather is a former Jammu and Kashmir minister, said his houses and offices were raided in Srinagar and Jammu. “These are baseless charges,” he said. He blamed political victimization for the raids.

The statement said the bank had settled outstanding loan of Rs. 190 crore given to the company for Rs. 130 crore, although “he [promoter] 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,” the statement said.

During the search operation, evidence was found that the main promoter was a director in a Dubai based company, it said.

“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.

Hilal Ahmad Rather said his company only took Rs. 126 crore loan and Rs. 35 crore was returned. “The worth of the project is more than Rs. 170 crore. The money is invested in the project which is there,” he said.

Hilal Ahmad Rather said that the Bharatiya Janata Party government was deliberately troubling him as they have nothing against his father. (HT)

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