India Business
Income tax raids on Uflex Ltd
May 10, 2007 - 11:50:15 PM

New Delhi, May 10 - On the eve of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election results, Income Tax department sleuths Thursday conducted raids on 10 premises of Uflex Limited and the residence of its head Ashok Chaturvedi, a close associate of Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.

The raids, conducted in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Goa on charges of tax evasion by the company assume significance as exit polls of the seven-round polling had shown the Samajwadi Party losing to its arch rival Bahujan Samaj Party -.

The BSP chief Mayawati has been on the offensive against the Samajwadi Party leaders from the beginning of her election campaign threatening to arrest the leaders if her party comes to power.

Admitting his close association with Chaturvedi, Amar Singh said it might be a vindictive exercise though he did not 'want to cast any aspersions on the administrative action. Let the law take its course. As far as the Samajwadi Party and I are concerned, I am not involved in this.

'If they want to raid me or - Mulayam Singh, they are more than welcome. We are not afraid of the Congress's coercive measures,' he said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer - of Uflex, Amit Ray told IANS: 'This is not a raid but an investigation. They - have come to ascertain certain details.'

Asked whether it was linked to the Uttar Pradesh polls where the Samajwadi Party appears to be losing, he said, 'I will not go into this discussion.'

The chief of Uflex - Chaturvedi was previously involved in an alleged pay-off to Someshwar Mishra, former chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

The IT officials also raided Chaturvedi's residential premises, from where officials said they seized 'voluminous incriminating documents' along with cash and but added that only a detailed study of these documents would establish the extent of tax evasion by Uflex industries.

IT officials said they also conducted 'survey operations' on five premises of Uflex.

Meanwhile, the Congress lashed out at the Samajwadi Party describing Amar Singh's comments as 'frivolous'.

'The Income Tax department works according to its norms, if people have to be searched, they have to be searched. The Congress has nothing to do with it,' said Minister for Science and Technology, Kapil Sibal.

Keeping up the attack on Amar Singh, the Congress leader said 'if there are gifts like Bentleys being given to people and an explanation is asked for, then I'm sure Amar Singh will give an explanation if and when those questions are asked.

'Or the six plots that were given to Flex and in what manner they were given. It's got nothing to do with Amar Singh's friends; it does have something to do with tax payers. Tomorrow I could be asked as a taxpayer. That's how the IT department works, we don't spare friends and we don't target people,' said Sibal.

He was referring to the allegations that Chaturvedi was one of the men who was obliged during the controversial land allotments in NOIDA by the Mulayam Singh regime. Later on these allotments were cancelled.

Uflex, is listed on Bombay Stock Exchange, as making packaging products, polyester film, inks and adhesives.

The Income Tax Department also conducted raids at Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd's premises in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

Shares of Uflex plunged to Rs.151.80 from the intra-day high of Rs.158, while HFCL's stock dropped to close at Rs.24.20 from the day's high of Rs.26.

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