The Income-Tax Department has unearthed several instances of cash transactions undertaken by Oberoi Realty during a search last month. Documents uncovered during the probe threw up names of Bollywood actors who were involved in cash dealings with the company.
The department found quite a few instances where a component of the flat price was accepted in cash more than is allowed, sources said. Current laws allow cash transactions no higher than Rs 2 lakh.
When contacted for a response, Oberoi Realty accepted that the Income Tax Department had conducted a search of its premises, under section 132 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, but added that no irregularities had been found during the search operation. "There have been no claims made against the company nor have there been any disclosures," it said.
The company also dismissed the information that it had undertaken illegal cash transactions, and said such information was "totally false and malicious".
"We wish to emphatically state that we have absolutely no cash dealings with any of our clients irrespective of what profession they come from. At Oberoi Realty, we lay great emphasis on ethical practices, fulfilment of all regulatory compliances and observe corporate governance diligently," the company said in a statement to Moneycontrol.
The company further said: "We request you to not publish this baseless story with the above-mentioned false information as the same will cause grievous and unrepairable damage to our hard earned reputation. Having categorically stated the facts in this case, we reserve our right to protect our interests."
Moneycontrol stands by the information it has learned.
This is the second time when the income tax investigation department is investigating Oberoi Realty.
The most recent search took place on August 20 when the department had carried out searches at two dozen premises of Oberoi Realty and their vendors, including Capacite Infra. It was one of the biggest searches by its Mumbai cell, spread over seven days.
Oberoi Realty, which deals in the premium housing segment, has around 10 projects underway in Mumbai itself, especially in the western suburbs.
The company is also under the scanner of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), which is probing its books of accounts over utilisation of proceeds from its initial public offer (IPO).