The Directorate General of GST Intelligence on Thursday refuted media reports which claimed that the agency had agreed to treat the money recovered from Kanpur-based businessman Peeyush Jain as turnover and proceed accordingly.
Two premises belonging to Jain, owner of Kannauj-based perfume manufacturing company Odochem Industries, were raided by the DGGI's Ahmedabad unit on December 26. Cash amounting to Rs. 197.49 crores, 23 kg of gold and other high-value goods were recovered by the agency.
News reports by multiple Hindi newspapers and websites claimed that the DGGI has decided to treat the cash seized as turnover from Jain's business with Jain agreeing to deposit Rs 52 crores as tax dues.
Hindi news outlets including Rajasathan Patrika, Amar Ujala and Punjab Kesari reported that the DGGI has decided to treat the Rs 177.45 cash recovered from the businessman as turnover of the manufacturing unit and would proceed accordingly. These newspaper clippings have gone viral on Facebook.
DGGI Refutes Claims
In a statement, DGGI Additional Director General Vivek Prasad refuted the media reports calling them "purely speculative, without any basis" and "seeking to undermine the integrity of the ongoing investigations".
Prasad clarified that the money had been handed over to the State Bank Of India as case property for safekeeping pending further investigation.
"No deposit of tax dues has been made by M/s Odochem Industries from the seized money to discharge their tax liabilities and their tax liabilities are yet to be determined," the agency said.
Jain has been booked under section 132 of the CGST Act and has been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.
Jain's arrest had taken a political turn with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party both accusing each other of having links with Jain. BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed that Jain was behind the new perfume released by the Samajwadi Party.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also used the raids against Jain to accuse the SP of corruption saying, "Boxes filled with notes that have come out, I was thinking they (Samajwadi Party) will say that this was also done by us. The people of Kanpur understand business and trade well. Before 2017, the perfume of corruption that they had sprinkled all over Uttar Pradesh is there for everyone to see."
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav hit back stating that SP MLC Pushpraj Jain manufactured Samajwadi Attar and not Peeyush adding, "By mistake, the BJP got its own businessman raided. Instead of SP leader Pushpraj Jain, it got Piyush Jain raided."