Income Tax department starts 'field inquiries' at Nitin Gadkari-linked Purti group

Nitin Gadkari

Income Tax department today launched on-field inquiries at around nine locations in Mumbai belonging to alleged shell companies related to Nitin Gadkari's Purti group, a day before he seeks a second straight term as BJP president.

Sources in the IT department said the exercise by its investigation wing was in continuation of the earlier searches carried out at the shell companies (entities which serve as a vehicle for business transactions without themselves having any significant assets or operations) related to Purti group in Mumbai.

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"We are verifying the addresses of the companies, the nature of the business and (whether) do they really exist," an IT source said.

According to the sources, the inquiries followed "certain doubts" raised by the Pune branch of the department, which asked its Mumbai counterpart to inquire into those.

"If need be, we will record the statements of the persons whose names are shown as directors of these companies," the sources said on condition of anonymity.

Gadkari, who was asked by the Income Tax department to appear before it yesterday in connection with the probe into alleged dubious investments in Purti group of companies, had sought more time to present his case.

Citing his preoccupation with party work as the reason for his inability to appear before the tax authorities, he sought fresh time, sources had said yesterday.

They said he has been asked to appear on February 1.

Gadkari's Chartered Accountant Ravi Chincholkar was one of the two representatives who appeared before the office of Geeta Ravichandran, Joint Director (Investigation) of Income Tax Department here and sought adjournment for producing relevant documents, according to sources close to Gadkari.

Sources also said that there was no need for personal appearance of Gadkari in this matter.

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