TV personality Kirti Verma charged in Rs 263 cr illegal TDS refund case

    The Hawk
    September13/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    New Delhi: Kirti Verma, an Income Tax official-turned TV personality known for her appearances on 'Roadies' and 'Big Boss Season 12', as been chargesheeted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for allegedly receiving the proceeds of crime from an illegal Rs 263 crore Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) refund case.

    Fourteen others, including entities, have also been named in the charge sheet, which was filed in a Mumbai court on Tuesday.

    Former Income Tax Inspector Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, Bhushan Anant Patil , Rajesh Shetty, and others have also been implicated in the charge sheet.

    Verma is accused of having a close relationship with one individual who illegally received a tax refund.

    "The ED has discovered that Verma sold a property in Gurugram, acquired in 2021, using proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 1.02 crore, and received the sale proceeds in her bank accounts."

    In January, the ED had attached assets worth Rs 69 crore, including land, flats, and luxury cars, which were purchased in the names of Verma and other accused individuals, Patil and Shetty.

    The ED's case is based on the CBI's FIR against Adhikari and Patil.

    The CBI case concerns the fraudulent issuance of tax refunds by the accused, with allegations that they received illegal income tax refunds from 2007 to 2009.

    It was alleged that Adhikari, while working as a Senior Tax Assistant, had access to RSA Tokens and login credentials of his supervisory authorities.

    He allegedly orchestrated the fraud in collusion with others, fraudulently generating TDS refunds exceeding Rs 263 crore and transferring them to various bank accounts, including the bank account of SB Enterprises, which is a proprietary concern of Patil.

    The CBI also filed charge sheets against Adhikari, Patil, Shetty, and others for committing offences punishable under Sections 7 & 13(2) read with 13(1)(a) of the PC Act and Section 66 of the IT Act.

    During the investigation, the ED learned that between November 15, 2019, and November 4, 2020, a total of 12 illegal TDS refunds totaling Rs 263,95,31,870 were generated by Adhikari and fraudulently credited to the account of SB Enterprises.

    "These Proceeds of Crime (PoC) were subsequently transferred into the bank accounts of Bhushan Anant Patil and other related persons and entities, including shell companies. During the course of the PMLA investigation, Kriti Verma sold one such property in Gurugram, which was acquired in 2021 with the PoC amounting to Rs 1.02 crore, and received the sale proceeds in her bank accounts.

    "Immediate search operations were conducted, and the entire sale proceeds amounting to Rs 1.18 Crore were identified in her bank accounts and frozen," an ED official said.

    The ED had previously seized immovable properties in the form of lands in Lonavala, Khandala, Karjat, Puneand Udupi; flats in Panvel and Mumbai; and movable assets in the form of three luxury cars (BMW X7, Mercedes GLS400d, Audi Q7), which were acquired with the proceeds of crime by the accused.

    Upon the identification of these assets, a Provisional Attachment Order under PMLA was issued, attaching 32 assets totaling Rs 69,65,99,720.

    Thus, out of the total PoC of Rs 263 crore, assets worth Rs 166 crore have been seized in the case so far.

    Further investigation in the matter is ongoing.