Widening its probe, the Income Tax Department has summoned the son of former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao in connection with its tax evasion investigation against sand mining operators of the state where one of the biggest seizures of cash and gold was made by the taxman in the aftermath of demonetisation.
Officials said while Rao’s son Vivek Papisetty was first summoned to join investigations last week, after searches were carried out against him and his family on December 21, and now fresh reminders have again been sent to him in this regard.
They said Vivek has informed the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case that he would join the probe soon and has cited his wife’s illness as the reason for not being able to do so till now.
The department, it is understood, wants to confront and question Vivek regarding a number of seizures of documents made by the sleuths from his and his kins’ locations and from the premises of Shankar Reddy after searches were first carried out against the latter here earlier this month.
Reddy was arrested by CBI last week.
“Vivek has said he would be joining I-T investigations in a day or two. His questioning is vital in the case,” they said, adding that three other associates searched in the case are also being questioned by the department.
I-T officials had earlier claimed that Vivek had “admitted to a total unaccounted income of about Rs 17 crore”, a day after I-T raids were carried out at the top bureaucrat’s house and other premises linked to his kin. Last week, the department had launched searches on atleast 15 premises related to Vivek and others and had claimed to have seized Rs 30 lakh in new currency and five kg gold.
The Tamil Nadu government, on the very next day of raids on December 22, had replaced Rao from the top bureaucratic post and had appointed senior IAS officer and Additional Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan as the new Chief Secretary.