Dainik Bhaskar has been accused of tax evasion by the authorities.

New Delhi:

Unpaid taxes on Rs 700 crore of revenue over six years, violation of inventory market guidelines, and proof of income being siphoned off from listed corporations have been present in searches on the Dainik Bhaskar Group, the Income Tax Department stated on Saturday, two days after the raids on the conglomerate with media shops vital of the federal government triggered outrage.

“During the search, it was found that they have been operating several companies in the names of their employees, which have been used for booking bogus expenses and routing of funds… Several of the employees, whose names were used as shareholders and directors, have admitted that they were not aware of such companies,” the tax division stated in an announcement.

“Such companies have been used for multiple purposes namely booking bogus expenses and siphoning off the profits from listed companies, routing of funds so siphoned into their closely held companies to make investments, making of circular transactions etc,” it stated.

“The quantum of income escapement using this modus operandi, detected so far, amounts to Rs 700 crore spread over a period of six years. However, the quantum may be more as the group has used multiple layers and investigations are being carried out to unravel the entire money trail,” it added.

The tax division stated it had additionally discovered violation of guidelines of the inventory market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for listed corporations. “Application of Benami Transaction Prohibition Act will also be examined,” it stated.

A complete of 26 lockers have been discovered on the houses of the promoters and key workers of the group, that are being operated, the tax division stated.

“Cyclical trading and transfer of funds among group companies engaged in unrelated businesses to the tune of Rs 2,200 crore has been found. The enquiries have confirmed that these have been fictitious transactions without any actual movement or delivery of goods. The tax effect and violation of other laws is being examined,” it stated.

“The listed media company does barter deals for advertisement revenues, whereby immovable properties are received in lieu of actual payments. Evidences have been found indicating cash receipts in respect of subsequent sale of such properties. This is under further examination,” it added.

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