Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thane-based Karrm Infrastructure - I-T officers raid Thane builder

I-T officers raid Thane builder

Thane-based Karrm Infrastructure's blockbuster advertising campaign, promising an unheard of 70 amenities with an apartment that costs less than Rs6 lakh, solicited response from an unexpected quarter — the income tax department. A team of IT officials raided the Naupada office of Karrm Infrastructure on Friday morning and the search operations continued through the day, with the IT officials seeking details about the 'unusual' business operations of the builder and seizing documents from the premises of the developer. Confirming the raid, an IT officer who requested not to be named said, "We will seek explanation for certain transactions and appropriate action will be taken against the developer."
The IT raid came as a big blow to the developer, who had launched a renewed effort just last week to get fresh bookings after being rapped by the High Court for using the name of a reputed builder. As reported earlier, after being reprimanded for using the name Ekkta Group, the builder changed the name to Karrm Infrastructure and announced the same through a big-budget advertising campaign. "Instead of attracting the home buyers, the advertisements ended up attracting the Income Tax officials," said a source, adding that given the wafer-thin margins involved in low budget deals, the IT blow may be too much to bear for the new developer.
On September 28, the High Court had given an injunction restraining Ekkta from using the name of the firm, pending the final outcome of a Rs 50-crore defamation case filed against it by Ekta Group. Even the HC order had come at a time when Ekkta was aggressively marketing its Ekkta Residency project near Shahpur in Thane, widely promoting the selling out of three phases in record time and soliciting bookings for the fourth phase.
While Ketan Patel, the promoter of Karrm Infrastructure refused to offer comment on the raids, his legal adviser Advocate CM Gandhi said that the IT action was a routine survey. "The officials conducted the search operations at the office of Karrm and the necessary information was given to them," Gandhi said.

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