- Tax raids on premises linked to ex-Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister
- Raids linked to alleged tax evasion in medical admission exams: officials
- Congress termed the searches "hounding of opposition leaders" by BJP
Over Rs. 4 crore in cash was found by Income Tax officials during raids at multiple places linked to former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and his associates since yesterday, officials said this morning.
Rs. 4.25 crore in cash has been found till now from various premises that were searched, officials said.
Around 30 places linked in Bengaluru and Tumakuru linked to the senior Congress leader were searched. The tax department is continuing with the searches this morning as well. The raids are in connection with an alleged multi-crore tax evasion case linked to medical entrance exams, officials said.
In coordinated raids, more than 300 Income Tax officials searched premises linked to two prominent Congress leaders in Karnataka - Mr Parameshwara and former MP RL Jalappa.
The raids are being conducted based on a tip-off that medical seats were being sold at the rate of Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 60 lakh for undeserving candidates, sources in the Income Tax department said. The massive search, they said, has resulted in the seizure of cash and incriminating documents proving the alleged irregularities in medical admissions.
The house of Mr Parameshwara's brother's son, Anand, and Siddhartha Medical College are being searched by the tax department today. The college is run by a trust related to the former minister.
While Mr Parameshwara's family runs the Siddhartha Group of Institutions, which was established by his father HM Gangadharaiah 58 years ago, Congress leader Mr Jalappa's son Rajendra runs the RL Jalappa Institute of Technology in Doddaballapura and Kolar.
On Thursday, Mr Parameshwara had said he was not aware of the searches and that he is ready to "rectify" if there is any fault from his end. "I am not aware of the raid. I don't know where they are doing it. Let them search, I have no issue. If there is any fault from our side, we will rectify it," he had told news agency ANI.
"These raids are politically motivated. The Election Commission has indicated the calendar of events for the by-election to the Karnataka assembly, " Mr Jalappa had told NDTV.
G Parameshwara was the Deputy Chief Minister in HD Kumaraswamy's JD(S)-Congress coalition government that collapsed in July after losing the trust vote in the assembly.
"It is very very evident. If you are against this government, these I-T raids are going to happen. There is a method to this madness. It is to keep us down. But it is not going to bog us down," Congress MLA Priyank Kharge told NDTV.
Dr Ashwath Narayan of the BJP and the state's Deputy Chief Minister told NDTV there was nothing political about the raids.
"It's routine," said the BJP's Ashwath Narayan, who is the Deputy Chief Minister, adding there was nothing political about the raids. "On reliable information, normally income tax raids happen wherever it is not in conformity with income tax rules and where violation has happened. Routinely, raids happen on individuals, entrepreneurs, educationists. We should not give any political colour or political dimension to the income tax raids," Mr Narayan told NDTV.
(With inputs from PTI)