Since the demonetisation of old notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000 denomination, the Income Tax Department and other agencies have carried-out ''swift investigations'' in more than 400 cases, detecting nearly Rs2,000 crore of undisclosed income and seizing over Rs130 crore in cash and jewellery, the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The investigative agencies have stepped up action after many cases came to light of people illegally converting old notes into new currency or gold for a commission.
''Detecting serious irregularities beyond the Income-tax Act, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) decided to refer such cases to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI, enabling them to examine the criminal conduct for immediate necessary action. More than 30 such references have already been made to the ED, and are being sent to the CBI,'' the ministry said.
Giving details of various cases which have been referred to the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the statement said the Mumbai unit of the I-T department has referred a case where Rs80 lakh in new high denomination currency notes were seized. The Bengaluru Investigation Unit of department has sent the maximum references (18) to ED. These are cases where undisclosed cash in new high denomination notes was seized by the department.
''The concerted and coordinated enforcement action of the Income Tax Department, ED & CBI in detecting the malpractices and taking swift action is going to continue in the coming days,'' the finance ministry said.
The Ludhiana Unit has referred two cases, where seizures of $14,000 and Rs72 lakh in cash were made. Hyderabad forwarded a case involving seizure of Rs95 lakh cash from five persons. Pune's reference stems from a seizure of Rs20 lakh cash, including Rs10 lakh in new currency notes from an un-allotted locker of Urban Cooperative Bank, the key of which was in the possession of the chief executive of the bank. Two cases referred by the Bhopal unit are of jewellers against whom evidence of large scale predating of bills and flouting of PAN reporting norms were detected during searches.
The cases referred from the Delhi unit include the Axis Bank, Kashmiri Gate branch case in which complicity of officers of the bank in malpractices was detected. The ED has already arrested two bank officials in this regard.
Last week, the CBDT said that it has found ''various inconsistencies'' in cash deposits in Jan Dhan accounts and detected about Rs1.64 crore deposited by persons who have never filed returns as their income shown is below the taxable limit.
The investigations were carried out following sudden surge in deposits in such accounts. Deposits in about Rs25.5 crore Jan Dhan accounts increased to Rs74,321 crore till 30 November, as against Rs45,636.61 crore on 9 November.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November announced the decision to withdraw old notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000 from circulation and asked holders of such currencies to deposit it in bank accounts by 30 December.
The deposits of old notes have swelled with the banks since the announcement of these being dropped as legal tender. As per latest data released by the RBI, between 10 and 27 November November, banks reported exchange and deposits of old notes worth Rs8.45 lakh crore (exchange of Rs33,948 crore and deposits of Rs8.11 lakh crore).
During this period, an amount of Rs2.16 lakh crore had been withdrawn by people from their accounts. To prevent people from using others' bank accounts to convert their black money, the government passed amendments to the Income Tax Act enabling the taxmen to impose a higher penalty and tax on assessees of unexplained deposits, totalling up to 85 per cent.