I-T Department searches at premises linked to T.N. Minister Senthilbalaji | Officials wrap up searches, seize incriminating papers 

Updated - June 13, 2023 04:29 pm IST

Published - June 02, 2023 11:36 pm IST - KARUR

CRPF personnel guarding the house of a DMK functionary at Rayanur in Karur, where I-T search was held on May 28, 2023

CRPF personnel guarding the house of a DMK functionary at Rayanur in Karur, where I-T search was held on May 28, 2023 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Income Tax officials on Friday wrapped up their eight-day search operation on the premises of persons acquainted with Tamil Nadu Minister for Electricity, Excise and Prohibition V. Senthilbalaji in Karur and adjoining places.

The office of a civil engineer in a commercial complex at Sengunthapuram in the city was the last one to be brought under the scanner, sources said. A group of officials, accompanied by Central Reserve Police Force personnel, entered the office in the early hours of Friday.

They carried out a check for more than seven hours. After the end of the search, the officials seized a computer and a hard disc. He was said to have built some of the houses of those acquainted with Mr. Senthilbalaji.

The officials seized several incriminating documents of land records and deals from the house of a lawyer in the city. The house was searched for two days since Thursday. The documents stacked in two boxes were carried by the officials in a car with CRPF protection. Besides registering documents, the lawyer was said to have given legal opinion on several land deals of key persons in the city.

Besides, the officials reportedly seized a huge amount of cash from stone crusher units, a financial company and other premises.

The search operation, one of the longest in Tamil Nadu in recent years, lasted eight days. The officials faced hostile reaction at various places when they landed at the targeted properties on May 26. Protesting against the searches, DMK workers prevented the officials from entering various houses. The workers allegedly assaulted and abused the officials, forcing them to retreat from various places. The officials thereafter had to seek the protection of the CRPF to continue the operation.

According to sources, more than 25 properties had been searched since May 26. The residence of V. Ashok Kumar, the brother of Mr. Senthilbalaji, at Ramakrishnapuram; the bungalow, which is being built by a close relative of the Minister, on Karur-Salem Highway; the office of Sankar Anand Infra on the 80-Feet Road; the house of a woman accountant of the company; the residence and a farmhouse of Sankar Anand, a government contractor; the residence of ‘Kongu Mess’ M. Subramani; the premises of Kongu Mess on Coimbatore Road; and the house of Deputy Mayor ‘Tharani’ Saravanan were among the important properties where the searches were carried out.

Shortly before wrapping up the drive, the officials sealed the office of Sankar Anand Infra and Kongu Mess under Sections 132 (1) and 132 (3) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

The persons attached to the properties were warned against removing the seal or part with books of accounts, documents, jewellery or any other valuables.

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