In further trouble for beleaguered jewellery designer Nirav Modi, the Income Tax Department today provisionally attached 29 properties and 105 bank accounts of the diamond merchant, his family and firms as part of its tax evasion probe, officials said. The department also slapped the new anti-black money act against him for allegedly holding illegal assets abroad.
The asset is suspected to be in Singapore. The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 deals with cases of overseas illegal assets, which till recently were probed under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
The new legislation has provisions for a steep 120 per cent tax and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income, besides carrying a jail term of up to 10 years. The taxman also filed a charge sheet against Modi before a special court in Mumbai under sections 276 C (1) [wilful attempt to evade tax], 277 A (false statement in verification), 278 B (offences by companies) and 278 E (presumption as to culpable mental state) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
The court will take up the case on February 27. Tax sleuths also pasted attachment notices at immovable properties of Modi, his wife Ami and his firms located in Mumbai, Surat, Jaipur and Delhi. In the Maharashtra capital, the properties that have been provisionally attached pending assessment, include Modi's premises in the posh Peddar road area, Worli, Bandra, Lower Parel and Opera House.
A total of 105 bank accounts of Modi, his family and companies have also been attached, they said. "These attachments have been made keeping in view the huge demand which is likely to be raised in the assessment proceedings which are underway in the case of Nirav Modi, his family members and group concerns," an I-T report, accessed by PTI, said.
The I-T had first raided Modi in January last year on charges of alleged tax evasion.
Nirav Modi and others are accused in a Rs 114 billion fraud involving Punjab National Bank. The accused are believed to have left the country.