In perhaps the first case of a top bureaucrat being raided, the house and office of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary was on Wednesday searched by Income Tax officials who claimed to have recovered Rs 30 lakh cash in new notes and 5 kgs of gold besides getting “disclosure” about Rs 5 crore of unaccounted income.
With about 35 personnel of CRPF providing security, around 100 Income Tax sleuths, launched the raids as early as 6 am at 15 places, including the office and the residence of Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, his son Vivek and some relatives in Chennai and Chittoor in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, IT sources said.
A top Income Tax official said Rs 30 lakh in cash in new notes and 5 kgs of gold were recovered during the raids. “Disclosure” of Rs 5 crore of unaccounted income allegedly by Vivek was also obtained, he added.
Rao or his son could not be contacted for their comments. The IT action came in connection with a case related to the biggest cash haul of new notes post demonetisation after the department raided some sand mining operators of Tamil Nadu here.
“We proceeded (to carry out the raids) on the basis of evidence which includes documents, notings and others pointing to receipt of income by Rao and his son to the tune of about Rs 16 crore to Rs 17 crore,” the Income Tax official said.
The search locations included the residence of Rao here, his kin and associates, besides his chamber at the Secretariat, he said.
The searches, top I-T sources said, were launched against Rao’s son Vivek Papisetty and his relatives, including his father-in-law based in Chittoor.
To a query on the type of evidence they had, the official said, “We have lots of evidence, otherwise, how we can conduct searches.”
He referred to the recent seizure of Rs 135 crore in cash and 177 kg of gold from sand mining baron Shekar Reddy and Srinivasulu and said “through that (operation) too we have evidence”, without elaborating. Reddy and and his associate K Srinivasulu were today arrested by CBI and remanded to judicial custody by a court here.