New Delhi: The Income Tax Department carried out a search and seizure action against a leading advocate practicing in the field of commercial arbitration and alternate dispute resolution on Wednesday (October 14). The advocate was suspected to be receiving substantial amounts in cash from his clients, to settle their disputes. 

During the search, the Income Tax Department raided 38 premises spread over Delhi, NCR, and Haryana, and seized cash of Rs 5.5 crore and also restrained 10 lockers, according to the department. 

The I-T sleuths also seized incriminating documents of unaccounted cash transactions and investments made by the assessee over several years. Substantial digital data reflecting unaccounted transactions of the assessee and his associates, who are financers and builders, have also been recovered, it said. 

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​In one case, the advocate is stated to have received Rs 117 crore from a client in cash, whereas he had shown only Rs 21 crore in his records, which was received through cheque. 

In another case, he received more than Rs 100 crore in cash from an infrastructure and engineering company for its arbitration proceedings with a public sector company. 

​The unaccounted cash received, has been invested by the assessee in purchase of residential and commercial properties and in taking over of trusts engaged in running of schools. 

Evidence recovered indicate an investment of more than Rs 100 crore in cash in several properties in posh areas in the last two years. 

The assessee and his associates have also purchased several schools and properties, for which also more than Rs 100 crore was paid in cash. He has also taken accommodation entries worth several crores.

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