New Delhi: The Income-tax Department is presently conducting raids at the premises of an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Uttam Nagar, Naresh Balyan, as per I-T Sources, quoted by news agency ANI. As per reports, over Rs. 2.5 crores has been recovered as of now. Also Read - Delhi: Mayors of All Three Municipal Corporations Holds Sit-in Protest Outside CM Kejriwal's Residence
Officials said the Uttam Nagar MLA, a property dealer and two others are being questioned by the tax officials in Dwarka to ascertain if the recovered cash was “illegal and unaccounted.” “Balyan has been detained for questioning after it emerged that the recovered cash had purported links with him. The tax officials are questioning the MLA and others present with him about the source of the money,” a senior official said. Also Read - Punjab: AAP MLAs Spend Night in Assembly Premises Over Agriculture Law
The incident took place after 1 PM on Friday when an I-T team reached the office of a real estate dealer to conduct a routine survey on a tip-off about some cash changing hands. A survey procedure entails I-T officials visiting only the business premises of an assessee and not their residential or other locations. After the recovery of the cash, the department has “converted” its limited action of a survey into a full-fledged ‘search and raid operation’ and few more premises of the people linked in the case are being covered now, the official said. He said that tax sleuths were told that the case pertains to some property deal. Also Read - 'Congress Was Looting Our Country, Then BJP Came And Said...,' AAP's Scathing Attack on Both Parties
Last year, in October, the I-T Department had conducted searches on multiple premises linked to Kailash Gahlot, the Delhi Transport Minister, in connection with an alleged tax evasion case. Following the raids, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apologise for the same. The Delhi CM had tweeted in Hindi, “Friendship with Nirav Modi and Mallya and raid on us? Modiji you conducted raids on me, Satyendra and Manish what happened to those (raids). Nothing was found.”
He had also added, “So before you go with another raid at least apologise to Delhi people for troubling their elected government.”
Gahlot, who is an MLA from Najafgarh holds charge of several departments in the Kejriwal government. They include Law and Administrative Reforms department that are handling the matter of disqualification of 20 AAP legislators for holding posts of parliamentary secretary, and the doorstep delivery of services scheme, respectively.
Back then, another AAP leader, Saurabh Bhardwaj had claimed that the central agencies including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the ITD should disclose if it found anything related to corruption during their raids on AAP leaders and ministers.