Income Tax officials conduct searches at multiple premises linked to Dainik Bhaskar group

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A search is being carried out in the Dainik Bhaskar group offices under the Income Tax Act over allegations of huge tax evasion, government sources said on Thursday.

They said 32 premises, consisting of residential and business premises spread over the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Korba, Noida, and Ahmedabad have been covered.

The sources said that search is being done under Section 132 of the Income Tax Act. They said searches have been carried out after analysis of the departmental database, “banking enquiries and other discrete enquiries”.

The sources said the group is involved in various sectors, major being media, power, textiles and real estate, with a group turnover of more than Rs 6000 crore per annum.

They said that the group has more than 100 companies including holding and subsidiary companies. The flagship company is DB Corp Ltd, which publishes the news daily Dainik Bhaskar.

Government sources said there are allegations of huge tax evasion by the group “by claiming bogus expenses and purchases using shell entities”.

The sources said the group has allegedly floated several paper companies for this purpose, with their employees as shareholders and directors.

They said the money “siphoned off in this manner” is routed back into various personal and business investments, in the form of “share premium and foreign investments through Mauritius-based entities.

The main persons of the group are the three brothers – Sudhir Agarwal, Pawan Agarwal and Girish Agarwal.

The coal-based power generation business is carried in the name of DB Power Limited.

The sources said family members’ names also figured in the Panama leaks case.

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