The Income-Tax Department today attached nine bank accounts of Gitanjali Gems, its promoter Mehul Choksi and others in connection with a tax evasion probe against them.
The department issued orders for provisional attachment of these accounts in various bank branches in Mumbai under the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961. There are around Rs 80 lakh in these accounts, official sources said.
They said the action was taken to "recover outstanding tax demands".
The accounts, according to an I-T document accessed by PTI, are in the names of Gitanjali Gems Limited (three accounts), Mehul Choksi (3 accounts), Nakshatra World Limited (one account) and Ms Gili India Limited (2 accounts).
The I-T department tester had initiated action against beleaguered diamond jewellery designer Nirav Modi and provisionally attached 29 properties and 105 bank accounts of him, his family and firms as part of its tax evasion probe, officials said.
The department also slapped the new Anti-Black Money Act against him for allegedly holding illegal assets abroad.
Under the new anti-black money law cases of overseas illegal assets, which till recently were probed under the regular and civil Income Tax Act of 1961, attract a steep 120 per cent tax and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income besides carrying a jail term of up to 10 years.
The taxman also filed a charge sheet against Modi before a special court in Mumbai under sections 276 C (1) [wilful attempt to evade tax], 277 A (false statement in verification), 278 B (offences by companies) and 278 E (presumption as to culpable mental state) of the Income Tax Act.
The court will take up the case on February 27.
"These attachments have been made keeping in view the huge demand which is likely to be raised in the assessment proceedings which are underway in the case of Nirav Modi, his family members and group concerns," an I-T report had said.
The department had first raided Modi in January last year on charges of alleged tax evasion and had also surveyed Choksi's businesses.