Retired IAS officer under tax probe sought BSP ticket

Retired Indian Administrative Service officer Net Ram, principal secretary to Mayawati during one of her stints as Uttar Pradesh chief minister, was in talks with her Bahujan Samaj Party to contest as a party candidate in the Lok Sabha elections, income tax officials who raided his premises said on Thursday.

One official with direct knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity that Net Ram was “negotiating” a LS ticket from a party. Two other officials confirmed that the former bureaucrat “was interested in getting a ticket from the BSP”. None wished to be identified.

Net Ram did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Hid phone was switched off. The BSP didn’t immediately respond to a query on Net Ram’s candidature. The three officials said that raids conducted in several premises owned by Net Ram since Tuesday had found details of over Rs 225 crore of properties, luxury cars, and documents of many shell companies.

The I-T department carried out the raids on the basis of inputs received from the Financial Intelligence Unit of the finance ministry. The raids started only after the department was sure about Net Ram’s assets being disproportionate to his known income, the officials said.

In the raids the department found documents that showed Net Ram’s connection with 30 shell companies. “In most of such companies, either family members of assessee or his wife’s parents are shown as shareholders and directors. Premises of his parents-in-law were also searched. They expressed complete ignorance about such companies,” said the first official.

The official added that Net Ram’s children were authorised to operate the bank accounts of the shell companies. Handwritten diaries were found recording transactions for acquiring shell companies and investments in properties, the official said.

The department said it had found evidence that Net Ram had properties in Delhi’s KG Marg and Greater Kailash areas, Mumbai’s Hughes Road and three in various parts of Kolkata.

First Published:
Mar 15, 2019 02:24 IST

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