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I-T raids SP’s Kannauj MLC as part of raids on Uttar Pradesh perfume traders


New Delhi, December 31

The Income Tax Department on Friday raided multiple premises linked to certain perfume traders in Uttar Pradesh, including an SP MLC from Kannauj, as part of a tax evasion investigation, official sources said.

They said the searches are being conducted in Kannauj, Kanpur, the national capital region, Surat, Mumbai and few other places, and about 30-40 premises are being covered.

A residential building in south Delhi’s New Friends Colony and about a dozen premises in Mumbai are being covered in the raids that started early morning with police escort.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) said through a post on its official Twitter handle that the premises of its MLC Pushpraj alias Pampi Jain in Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, have been raided.

Jain is a businessman and has interests in perfume manufacture and others.

Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also held a scheduled press conference at the SP office in Kannauj where he also spoke about the raids and other issues.

The party’s Twitter post said the raids were launched by the “BJP government” soon after Yadav had announced that the media conference will be held there, and dubbed the action as an “open misuse of central agencies by a scared BJP”.

Yadav had recently launched a perfume called ‘Samajwadi ittra’ prepared by Jain in the run-up to the assembly polls in the state that are expected to be held early next year.

The exact identities of those raided were not confirmed by authorities. Sources, however, said another perfume trader based in Kannauj and one in Kanpur were also being searched as part of the latest action.

Sources said the action was launched after the department obtained details from the Goods and Service Tax (GST) department about possible income tax evasion by perfume business entities and others by allegedly claiming bogus input tax credit.

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI), an investigation agency under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), had recently carried out large-scale raids in Kanpur and Kannauj against Shikhar brand pan masala, a transporter and others and later arrested perfume trader Peeyush Jain, seized over Rs 197 crore cash apart from 26 kg gold and huge quantity of sandalwood oil.

Both Peeyush Jain and Pushpraj Jain have their residential premises located at a distance of few metres in the same locality in Kannauj.

The I-T department functions under the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

The DGGI raids and recovery of cash have triggered a war of words between political parties in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a rally in Kanpur on Tuesday, took a veiled dig at the Samajwadi Party over the cash seizure, saying the ‘ittar’ (perfume) of corruption that it had sprinkled all over Uttar Pradesh before 2017 is there for everyone to see. —PTI

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