Bengaluru: The Department of Income Tax, Bengaluru made its first poll related raid on contractors and engineers in key government departments, who have been tasked by politicians to allegedly collect funds for forthcoming polls, by raiding Narayan Gowda Patil, Executive Engineer (EE) in the Department of Rural Development, Haveri.
The IT sleuths seized unaccounted cash of over Rs 1.5 crore from his hotel room, that he and his driver were allegedly collecting from contractors for "payment to the political masters," said sources on condition of anonymity.
The Directorate of Investigation (Income Tax), Bengaluru & Goa was tipped off that Patil and his driver had checked into Room numbers 103 and 105 in Rajmahal Lodge at Anand Rao Circle in the city for collecting funds for elections.
The department set up a decoy and found that the duo was indeed staying in the hotel and was collecting illicit cash from various contractors. The tax sleuths searched the hotel rooms, where Patil and his driver were staying and seized over Rs 1.50 crore in cash. While they managed to get the driver, Patil got wind of the raid and escaped.
Besides cash, the income tax officers found some loose sheets in which the names of the contractors were written and the amount they had paid to the duo.
"When asked, the driver deposed that they had asked the contractors to pay five per cent of the contract value to them towards election funds. He added that part of the money was collected by Patil and he collected the remaining amount on instructions from the former," added the source. The I-T department is searching for Patil, who is on the run. They have so far not given any official statement on the raids.
The department is keeping a close watch on government contractors and engineers for election malpractices....