This Article is From Feb 11, 2010

IAS "tycoon" worth 500 crores suspended

Bhopal: A week after the income tax officials searched his premises, the Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday ordered the suspension of 1998 batch IAS officer and state Agriculture Secretary Babulal Agrawal.

The government also referred the probe into the complaints against him to the state Bureau of Investigation of Economic Offences even as the I-T department is contemplating to refer certain issues to the CBI.

It's the case that's giving the income tax department nightmares. I-T raids have revealed that Chhattisgarh's Agriculture Secretary Babulal Agrawal could well be worth a staggering 500 crore rupees.

Of all the bureaucrats, engineers and businessmen raided in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh over the last few days, Agrawal is turning out to be one of the biggest defaulters.

He has 40 crore rupees in 220 fake bank accounts and owns 16 bogus companies, which he used as hawala channels.

During the raid at his house in Raipur, the I-T officials found keys to four bank lockers. One such locker at the Bank of Baroda contained Rs 15 lakh in cash. The locker belonged to Agrawal; but just two days before the raid, it was transferred to his brother.

"After seeing the documents it seems that with the bank's connivance, they have been tampered," said Brajesh Gupta, DG Income Tax, MP and Chhattisgarh.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, senior IAS couple Arvind and Tinu Joshi have also been suspended after an I-T raid at their home recovered Rs 3 crore in cash, Rs 50 lakh in jewellery, Rs 5 lakh in foreign liquor, Rs 7 lakh in foreign currency and Rs 3 crore in insurance investments.

The lokayukt has registered a disproportionate assets case against them.

"Three cases have been registered. One against Arvind Joshi, the other against Mrs Joshi and third against engineer Deepak Asayee," P V Navelkar, Lokayukt , Madhya Pradesh.  

The income tax raids against top bureaucrats in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh may be over, but the unaccounted for cash, jewelry and investments worth crores are still spilling out.