Bengaluru : Income-tax officers claimed on Friday that they had unearthed undisclosed income of Rs 109 crore and seized Rs 9 crore in cash in raids on education institutes run by senior Congress leaders G Parameshwara and R L Jalappa in and around Bengaluru on Thursday and Friday.
The sleuths claimed that a part of the unaccounted income was deployed in hawala transactions and that the accused had parked money in their employees’ bank accounts.
A joint statement issued by the finance ministry and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Friday claimed, “Evidence reveals undisclosed income of around Rs 100 crore, considering the cash donations received for 185 seats averaging Rs 50 lakh to Rs 65 lakh per seat.”
The note speaks of seizing Rs 9 crore in cash. Interestingly, Rs 40 lakh in cash found during searches was from the hundi (offerings box) of a temple of which Parameshwara is a trustee.
The statement claimed sleuths have evidence that the accused had resorted to hawala transactions involving unaccounted cash. “A total of Rs 4.2 crore of unaccounted cash, including Rs 89 lakh from the house of the main trustee (Parameshwara), has so far been found,” it claimed.
No Congress leader commented on Friday about the raids or raised the issue in the assembly as earlier planned.
Income-tax officers had on Thursday started raiding educational institutes owned by Parameshwara and Jalappa in a case of alleged tax-evasion linked to the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical and dental college admissions this year.
Officials have been searching Sri Siddhartha Medical College in Tumakuru, Sri Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, near Nelamangala, and Devaraj Urs Medical College in Kolar. All three are deemed universities.
Sources claimed CBDT had gathered evidence to prove the allegation that some MBBS and PG seats had been conveted from the NEET pool to the management quota, and that it had evidence that commission had been paid to brokers for the sale of seats. Sources claimed some students, whose names were used in conversion of seats, had confirmed the seat-switch racket, and that agents and brokers had admitted to facilitating seat sales.
The CBDT note claimed it had documentary proof in the form of cash seized, papers, account details and audio tapes to confirm the involvement of agents, brokers and college trustees in the racket. Also, there’s material evidence to show cash was diverted to construct hotels, it added.
The accused, according to the statement, said they would make cash deposits in the bank accounts of certain employees and their families, and that they would later convert them into fixed deposits used to service loans taken by the college trustees. FDs amounting to Rs 4.6 crore in the names of eight employees have been seized.
Parameshwara and Jalappa, with their family and relatives, run separate chains of medical, dental and engineering colleges in Karnataka. Parameshwara’s family runs Siddhartha Group, established by his father H M Gangadharaiah six decades ago. Jalappa’s son, Rajendra, runs RL Jalappa Institute of Technology in Doddaballapura and Kolar.
Source : TOI