The income-tax department on Monday raided four premises of realty developer Lodha Group on alleged misreporting of income. The raid was based on a tip off suggesting inflated expenditure using fake receipts and cash payments from clients.
Income-tax officials, who are examining the documents found at these four premises, have come across details of bank lockers in the name of some employees of the company, sources from income-tax department said.
The raid covered group chairman Mangal Prabhat Lodha and his two sons who are directors of the company. Lodha Group officials declined to comment on the matter.
“All project sites and the residence of promoters have been raided. Tax officials also visited the Hyderabad office of the firm. Several directors and senior officials were prevented from stepping out of offices till late evening,” said an industry official. “The I-T officials were asking for details of several bills. However, till evening they could not access the company’s server,” he said.
Established in 1980 by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, a politician of Bharatiya Janata Party , Lodha Developers has projects mainly in and around Mumbai, and has land bank of around 250 million sq ft. Currently it has around 38 projects spread over 30 million sq ft under construction.
The realtor recently emerged as the highest bidder in the biggest-ever land deal in the city at an auction held by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. Lodha Developers had bid 4,050 crore for the right to lease a 25,000-sq mt plot for 65 years. MMRDA also offered the right to construct up to 4,95,000 sq mt, almost 20 times the plot area to the highest bidder.
The company has also announced plan to build world’s tallest residential tower 117-storey and 450-metre tall World One on 17-acre plot of defunct Shrinivas Mill at Lower Parel in central Mumbai with proposed investment of around 2,000 crore. In September 2009, Lodha Developers had filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India for initial public offer worth around 2,800 crore.