The income tax department has detected alleged tax evasion to the tune of Rs 7 crore in the business transactions of Purti group of companies related to former Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari. Probing the alleged dubious transactions of the Purti Power and Sugar Limited since last year, the department has completed assessments pertaining to the last two financial years and has found evasion to the tune of more than Rs 7 crore, top official sources said.
The Purti group, in its reaction, said it has not received any notice in this regard. A notice is not any indicator of any wrongdoing, it said, adding that Gadkari was not associated with the Purti group for the last two years.
"Our attention has been drawn to reports in a section of media that the income tax department is serving a tax assessment notice to the Purti Group for the last two assessment years. We would like to make it clear that neither the Purti group nor any functionary of the Purti group has received any notice so far," Nitin Kulkarni, public relations officer of Purti Group said in a statement.
"If any tax assessment notice is received, our MD Sudhir Dive in consultation with our tax advisors will give an appropriate response. However, a tax assessment notice is a routine procedure. There are different levels of appeal at various stages. The Purti group will deal with the matter,” he said.
"The tax assessment notice is certainly not any indication of wrongdoing. We would like to place on record the fact that Nitin Gadkari has not associated with the Purti group from last two years," Kulkarni added.
The I-T department has begun the final scrutiny of documents of all the Purti group companies and the other assessments would be completed by the yearend, the official sources said. While preparing the final assessment orders, the department has taken into cognisance the statement of Gadkari and other senior officials of Purti group.
The assessment report, prepared by compiling the probe dossiers of various I-T units present in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, the department says, has found that a number of small entities had invested or routed their money through the Purti group which was not reported for the "purposes of tax".
Late last year and early this year, the department had conducted a search on a number of units and business firms, which have reportedly invested or transacted in the Purti group. Gadkari could not get a second term as BJP president after the allegations of tax evasion and financial irregularities had cropped up in the Purti group.
He had earlier also submitted a 25-page document in reply to questions by the I-T department regarding his personal transactions and investments related to the Purti group of companies and others. Earlier this year, income tax officials had visited eight locations in Mumbai linked to 24 different firms that invested in or did business with the Purti Group.