The Income Tax Department carried out a search and seizure operation on a prominent hotelier, owning a chain of hotels at  Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam with another hotel under construction at Leh.

Various incriminating documents and materials evidencing unexplained investments in immovable properties, construction of hotels and residences aggregating to Rs 25 crore in the last six financial years have been seized during the search, though he has not paid any tax since AY 2014-15. Almost all these investments are in cash and outside the known sources of income.

During the course of the search operation, receipt of unsecured loans to the tune of Rs 25 crore in the past two years from persons of no-means has been found. All these loans are prima-facie not genuine, as the same have been advanced by persons with doubtful creditworthiness.

The search also revealed that the assessee’s children are studying in the USA on whom expenditure of approximately Rs 25 lakh/annum is being incurred. The expenditure on account of education in USA prima-facie appears to be unexplained/undisclosed. Further, the assessee is also running a B-Ed College as a Trust along with his mother. The Trust is not registered and no return is being filed for the Trust though it has substantial taxable income. The assessee has also admitted to having incurred expenditure of Rs 40 lakh on the renovation of his residential house.

During the investigations a bank locker has also been found, which has been put under restraint.

The Department also carried out searches in another case of a prominent jeweller in Srinagar. During the search, it was found that he had not maintained books of accounts of the jewellery business even though the turnover is of the range of Rs 2 crore to Rs 10 crore in the earlier years.

Further investigations are in progress.