The raid on Uttar Pradesh businessman Piyush Jain is not a case of mistaken identity, sources in the agency that investigates GST evasions said after the unearthing of heaps of unaccounted cash from his premises made national headlines.
Sources in the probe agency said the raid was a result of a focused investigation based on specific inputs.
This comes amid a fog of speculation surrounding the huge haul at the Kanpur and Kannauj premises of Piyush Jain, which led to the recovery of Rs 196 crore in cash and 23 kg gold.
Coming in the middle of a high-pitch election campaign, the raids have entered political speeches, with the BJP and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party accusing each other of backing the jailed perfume trader.
The BJP has alleged that it was Piyush Jain who recently launched the “Samajwadi perfume”. Taking a swipe at the opposition party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Kanpur yesterday, “Boxes filled with notes have come out. The people of Kanpur understand business and trade well. Before 2017, the perfume of corruption that they had sprinkled all over Uttar Pradesh is there for everyone to see.”
Hitting back, Mr Yadav has said the BJP had mixed up businessman Piyush Jain with Samajwadi Party’s Pushpraj Jain, who launched the perfume named after the party. Denying any link with Piyush Jain, he said the BJP got “its own businessman raided by mistake”.
Following Mr Yadav’s response, Congress leader P Chidambaram took to Twitter and wondered if the haul was a “comedy of errors”. “I suppose the comedy will not end here. As more accusations are traded between BJP and SP, more characters will emerge,” he said.
Pushpraj Jain has told NDTV that he has no links with Piyush Jain and that he was “saddened by the low level of politics”. “It is below the belt to use my name in relation to the raids,” he said. Asked about Mr Chidambaram’s tweet, Jain said, “He may be right, the raids may have been planned for me.”
Sources from the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI), however, junked the mistaken identity theory. They have said they received specific inputs regarding alleged tax evasion by the Shikhar Pan Masala group. A probe led them to transport company Ganapati Road Carriers and Piyush Jain’s Odochem Industries, the sources said.
Piyush Jain supplied perfumery compounds to the Shikhar group and came under the scanner for taking payments only in cash, the sources said, reiterating that it was not a case of mistaken identity.