A search under section 132 of the Income-tax Act is being carried out at multiple premises of the media group Dainik Bhaskar. A total of 32 premises, consisting of residential and business premises spread over the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Korba, Noida and Ahmedabad have been covered.
The group is involved in various sectors, major being Media, Power, Textiles and Real Estate, with a group turnover of more than Rs 6000 crores per annum.
The group has more than 100 companies including the holding and subsidiary companies. The flagship company is DB Corp Ltd, which publishes the news daily, Dainik Bhaskar. The coal-based power generation business is carried in the name of M/s DB Power Limited.
The main persons of the group are the three brothers; Sudhir Agarwal, Pawan Agarwal and Girish Agarwal.
There are allegations of huge tax evasion by the group by claiming bogus expenses and purchases using shell entities. The group has floated several paper companies for this purpose, with their employees as shareholders and Directors. The money siphoned off in this manner is routed back into various personal and business investments, in the form of share premium and foreign investments through Mauritius based entities. The family members’ names also figured in the Panama leaks case.
The searches have been resorted to after carrying out an analysis of departmental database banking enquiries and other discrete enquiries.