- Five properties have been confiscated.
- Ajit Pawar’s sisters properties were searched for tax evasion.
- Pawar claimed that “entities” associated with him had regularly paid taxes.
In the raids allegedly related to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, the Income Tax Department seized assets worth over 1,000 crores.
According to media reports, the IT Department has attached five properties, including Nirmal Tower in Nariman Point, Mumbai, and an apartment in South Delhi, followed by a sugar factory in Jarandeshwar. A resort in Goa and 27 plots in Maharashtra have also been attached provisionally.
These assets are claimed to be owned by Ajit Pawar and his family.
Invoking the Anti-Benami Act and stating that the properties were obtained unlawfully, the Income Tax Department designated Ajit Pawar and his family as “beneficiaries of the above Benami assets.”
Last month, tax searches were performed at Mr Pawar’s sisters’ homes and businesses.
In response to the searches and seizures, Mr Pawar stated that “all the entities” related to him had paid taxes on time.
“We pay taxes every year. Since I am the Finance Minister, I am aware of the fiscal discipline. All entities linked to me have paid taxes,” the NCP’s 62-year-old leader told reporters.
He had made the following statement, alleging misuse of investigating agencies: “I am upset because (premises of) my sisters, who got married 35 to 40 years ago, have been raided. If they were raided as Ajit Pawar’s relatives, then people must think about it…the way the agencies are being (mis)used, he said.
Former Union Minister Sharad Pawar had also slammed the BJP for the searches related to his nephew, calling it a “misuse of power.”
Last month, the NCP’s 80-year-old chief remarked of tax officials: “We are not terrified of such guests. You may recall that the Enforcement Directorate gave me a notification before the state elections (in 2019)… despite the fact that I had never taken out a loan from the bank and had nothing to do with it. They served me with a notice, and Maharashtra punished them.”
“The same thing is occurring right now with Ajit Pawar and others. People are witnessing misuse of power,” he continued.
The senior politician further alleged that the raids were in retaliation to his statements against the BJP about the violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur, which killed eight people, four of whom were farmers.
Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, was detained in the case.
The Income Tax department took action against Ajit Pawar after detecting an undeclared income of about 184 crores during a large search operation last month.