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DHFL loan to Manpreet Estates under tax scan

Shrimi Choudhary/Mumbai 13 Oct 17 | 12:23 AM

The promoters of Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL) and RKW Developers have come under an income-tax (I-T) department scanner in connection with alleged transactions in benami properties of Rs 95 crore in a Mumbai-based redevelopment project. A provisional attachment order has been issued.

It appears the first time where the tax authorities are taking recourse to last year’s Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act to establish a connection between a housing finance company and realty developers in sanctioning of loans — of Rs 150 crore in this case to an entity which had purchased 10 apartments in the said project, New Urmila Housing Society at Khar West.

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DHFL chairman and managing director Kapil Wadhawan and RKW Developers’ Dheeraj Wadhawan are siblings. According to latest BSE filings, promoters Aruna Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan and Kapil Wadhawan own less than one per cent each individually in DHFL. However, they own about 37 per cent through their holding entity, Wadhawan Global Capital.  

In a preliminary report, reviewed by this publication, the I-T department alleges RKW Developers and related entities  acquired the 10 flats in the project by using “fronts/shell entity".  The enquiry report says the flats were purchased in the names of Manpreet Estates LLP, Drishtik Sales Agency and two other individuals. 

“We are looking into the role of both lender and developer, and whether it was a transaction or an arrangement, where a property was transferred to a benamidar, who lent his/her bank accounts for benami transactions," said a senior I-T officer. He said the property was being held for immediate or future benefits of the end-beneficiary.

The report has been sent to a dedicated benami prohibition unit, recently formed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Acting on the findings, the special unit has provisionally attached all the 10 flats under the Act. 

The probe report says Manpreet Estates LLC, formed in 2014, had no imprint of tax filing and was sanctioned a loan amount of Rs 150 crore by DHFL. 

“DHFL has given a loan of Rs 150 crore to Manpreet Estates LLP in due course of business. The I-T department had sought for general information/clarifications on this transaction. DHFL has furnished the required documents and information," a DHFL spokesperson said. 

Adding: “DHFL strongly denies any survey conducted at any of the DHFL premises or locations. No DHFL official has been called by the I-T department on this matter." Business Standard was unable to contact RKW Developers’ executives. A senior official at the Wadhawan Group said he could not comment on operating companies.

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