Mumbai: 37-years-on, man convicted for hiding undisclosed income
Karodia has since passed away and hence his son, Yogesh, is the only person to be convicted. His other son Paresh was made a witness in the case
After 37 years, the Income Tax Department has managed to secure a conviction in a tax evasion case regarding undisclosed income, against the son of well-known stock broker Sumatilal Jamnalal Karodia. Karodia has since passed away and hence his son, Yogesh, is the only person to be convicted. His other son Paresh was made a witness in the case.
The raid that started it
On October 30, 1981, IT officials raided Karodia's flat at Napeansea Road in Malabar Hill. Karodia told IT officials that he had a locker in Bank of India's Walkeshwar branch with Paresh. During the raid, IT officials recovered the copy of a letter dated February 1, 1980 signed by Paresh and addressed to the Superintendent of Customs. It showed Karodia and his relatives also held two lockers in the Syndicate Bank, Malabar Hill branch.
When asked for them, Karodia and the other accused did not surrender the keys of the lockers, and pretended it was difficult to locate them in the house. The lockers belonged to Karodia, his wife and their sons, daughter, and daughter-in-law.
Stuffed in bags, hidden
Realising that something was amiss, the IT officials went to the Syndicate Bank, Malabar Hill and found that the lockers had been opened between 3:10 pm and 3:20 pm that day itself (October 30, 1981) and the jewellery and cash in them were stuffed inside two bags, which Yogesh's wife Rita had kept at her uncle's house in Pydhonie.
IT officials recovered the bags and then recorded the statements of every member of the Karodia family. On January 27, 1982 they registered a case against Sumatilal Karodia for concealing undisclosed income and misleading IT officials.
The modus operandi
"Yogesh, accompanied by his wife Rita, had managed to slip out of the house during the raid, gone to the Syndicate Bank, obtained special permission (time to access lockers was till 2 pm) to operate the lockers and took their contents, including cash R5 lakh and jewellery, and sent them with her to her uncle's place at Pydhonie," said special public prosecutor of Income Tax, Ravi Goenka. IT officials did not reveal the worth of the jewellery.
"We have managed to secure conviction after 37 years of a legal fight and the court has awarded three months rigorous imprisonment and a R5,000 fine to Yogesh," he added.
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