demonetisation raids income tax corrupt modi ed income tax cbi officials bankers axis bank
A man displays a new 2000 Indian rupee banknote after withdrawing from a bank in Jammu, November 11, 2016. While the Rs 2,000 note was being rationed in the initial days (only one note per person), some corrupt bankers connived to give large number of currencies to unscrupulous elements who traded it a premium.Reuters file

Bengaluru was placed at the top of the list by income tax authorities with reference to cases of undisclosed cash in new denominations seized since the demonetisation decision announced on November 8, 2016.

At a pan-India level, the cash and jewellery seizure was estimated at Rs 130 crore, while undisclosed income admitted by defaulters stood at about Rs 2,000 crore. 

Cases that had ramifications beyond tax evasion were referred to the Enforcement Directoate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The number of such cases was put at 30.

"The Bengaluru Investigation Unit of the Income Tax Department has sent maximum references (18) to ED. These are cases where undisclosed cash in new high denomination notes was seized by the Department.

"Detecting serious irregularities beyond the Income-tax Act, the CBDT decided to refer such cases to the 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 Indian finance ministry said on Tuesday evening.

Bengaluru shot to infamy with the seizure with a huge amount of Rs 2,000 currency notes, leading to the suspension of two senior Karnataka government bureaucrats, besides contractors and middlemen.

There was one case from Mumbai referred to the ED and it involved Rs 80 lakh seized in new currencies. Similar instances of large-scale irregularities were reported from Ludhiana, Pune, Hyderabad, Bhopal and Delhi. 

"Ludhiana Unit has referred 2 cases, where seizures of $14, 000 and Rs 72 lakh in cash were made. Hyderabad, shared a case involving seizure of Rs. 95 lakh cash from 5 persons travelling in a Tata Indica.

"Pune's reference stems from a seizure of Rs 20 lakh cash, including Rs 10 lakh in new currency notes from an un-allotted locker of urban cooperative bank, the key of which was in the possession of the CEO of the bank.

 "The cases referred from the Delhi unit include the Axis Bank, Kashmiri Gate in which complicity of officers of the bank in the malpractices was detected," the finance ministry statement said.

In a related news, micro-blogging site Twitter said that demonetisation has been the most significant moment on Twitter this year, recording 6.50 lakh tweets in just 24 hours following the announcement (on November 8), reported IANS.