The officials allege that the companies they raided are intermediate ones, which had funded or invested in the Purti Group, which is owned by Gadkari. Over two-dozen officials were involved in the search operation at the 11 companies, most of which have offices in suburban Mumbai.
In October last year, the Nagpur I-T officials initiated action after allegations broke that Purti Group received money through the shell companies, and that Gadkari had favoured a private company when he was a minister in the state between 1996 and 1999.
A top I-T official in Mumbai told MiD DAY that the searches were based on the information gathered by the Nagpur division. According to I-T officials, most of the directors of these companies were persons with small means, such as security guards and casual workers. “We are only assisting the Nagpur officials on request. They are also interrogating directors of these companies and searches are still on,” said a top I-T official on condition of anonymity.