77 bank accounts of suspended Madhya Pradesh IAS couple Arvind and Tinu Joshi have been frozen and their properties attached by the Income Tax authorities which claimed that cash and investments of over Rs 360 crore have been detected.
The action against the duo was taken under Section 281-B of the Income Tax Act, 1961, meant to ensure that they cannot dispose off their properties or operate bank accounts till completion of the probe by various investigating agencies, I-T department sources said.
A raid at the couple's residence in February last year had yielded Rs 3 crore in cash following which they were suspended.
Documents relating to investments have showed their worth to be a whopping Rs 360 crore, the department said. Jewellery worth Rs 67 lakh and foreign currency worth Rs 7 lakh and seven suitcases were also recovered during the raids, the department claimed.
The raids were carried out following complaints that the officers had allegedly made huge investments in an insurance company. In a 7,000-page appraisal report submitted to the state government and Lokayukta, the department has given details of investments made by the husband-wife duo.
As per the report, the two have made investments in a number of areas ranging from agriculture to real estate and stock market.
The couple purchased agricultural or non-agricultural land at a number of places including Kanha and Bandhavgarh national parks, Raisen, Balaghat, Sehore and Bhopal, the report said.
The report also said that the couple purchased 25 flats of which 18 are in Guwahati, six in Bhopal and one in New Delhi besides seven plots.
The report also claimed that Arvind had allegedly indulged in speculative trading in shares, futures and options to the tune of Rs 270 crore in the last three years.
The Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta is probing the couple under the Prevention of Corruption Act while the Enforcement Directorate is investigating a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)- 2002.
Both Arvind and Tinu, who are 1979-batch IAS Officers of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, have held important positions in the Centre since the late 80s.
Tinu served as Deputy Secretary in the PMO from July 1, 1988 to January 1, 1990 while Arvind was Joint Secretary in the Defence Ministry during the 1999 Kargil hostilities.