New Delhi: The Commonwealth Games probe now gathering pace with Income Tax officials carrying out nationwide raids on premises of four contractors who executed all the works related to the Games.
Countrywide raids, searches and surveys were conducted at 50 premises across Delhi and the NCR, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai by a team of over 300 officials.
The companies, which were raided, include Shiv Naresh Sports Pvt Ltd and Satya Prakash Constructions. Shiv Naresh laid synthetic tracks for the Commonwealth Games, while Satya Prakash Constructions was responsible for landscaping. Another company raided was Sweka Powertech Engineers, which provided the street lighting.
MBL Infrastructure of Kolkata, which provided civil infrastructure was also raided.
Officials said that the Income Tax department would specifically look into the contracts awarded by the CWG Organising Committee and the role of its officials and contractors including charges of bribing.
The I-T department officials are seizing documents related to all the tenders and contracts that were granted to various consortiums for the Games to detect possible evasion of taxes through over-invoicing and fudging of accounts.
The department had on October 19 carried out similar searches on four major consortiums, including those related to BJP member Sudhanshu Mittal, which had bagged contracts worth Rs 700 crore.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General of India VK Shunglu to investigate into the allegations of financial irregularities in the Commonwealth Games.
The Enforcement Directorate had on Wednesday questioned Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Director General VK Verma for over nine hours in connection with the alleged financial irregularities in the Queen's Baton Relay in London in 2009.
Officials admit it’s early to figure out the complete extent of the fraud. The documentary evidence though will expose profit margins by the contractors and the sub contractors and make sure advance taxes are paid on time.
Income Tax officials have admitted it’s not just surveys but searches for possible tax frauds having been committed in previous financial years. The question then is should the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games not have scrutinised the vendors more carefully for a game becoming a byword in corruption.