I-T officials conducting survey since Sep 19: Jet Airways

Jet Airways , battling with financial woes, is already under the lens of Sebi and the corporate affairs ministry for various violations, including alleged corporate governance lapses.

By PTI  
Friday, September 21, 2018

Crisis-hit Jet Airways Friday said income tax officials are conducting a survey of its premises since September 19 and the shares plunged six per cent on the bourses. The airline, battling with financial woes, is already under the lens of Sebi and the corporate affairs ministry for various violations, including alleged corporate governance lapses.

On Wednesday, sources said the I-T Department is inspecting the books to ascertain whether there have been falsification of accounts, suspicious dealings and other possible violations.

In a regulatory filing Friday, the carrier said I-T officials are conducting a survey of the premises of the company since September 19. "The company is fully cooperating with the authorities and responding to the queries by the income tax authorities," it said. As part of the survey operation, tax sleuths only visit the business premises of a firm and check their books of accounts.

The scrip tumbled 5.96 per cent to close at Rs 229.70 on the BSE. On Wednesday, sources said the I-T Department is inspecting the books to ascertain whether there have been falsification of accounts, suspicious dealings and other possible violations. In Mumbai, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs P P Chaudhary said the government would do "whatever is required" after completing inspection of books of Jet Airways.

Last month, the corporate affairs ministry ordered an inspection of "books and papers" of Jet Airways. "The inquiry is not yet concluded. The inspection (of books) has not been completed... Once it is completed the government will do whatever is required," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Mumbai.

He also noted that inspection of books and papers is a normal routine work. To a query on whether the ministry was looking to expand the scope of inquiry as Income Tax Department is also carrying out a survey at the premises of Jet Airways, the minister said once the investigation is complete, the necessary findings would be recorded by officials concerned.

On the alleged money siphoning over Rs 5,000 crore by the airline's promoter Naresh Goyal, he said that would be "subject matter of Sebi" but did not elaborate on the issues.

Earlier this year, Sebi sought information from Jet Airways following a complaint of alleged fraudulent practices. In May, the airline informed stock exchanges that in April the regulator sought views of the statutory auditors and the audit committee on certain allegations.

The disclosure, made in May through a regulatory filing, came in response to a clarification sought by the BSE on reports about alleged fraudulent practices by Jet Airways promoter Naresh Goyal and fall in its share prices.

Referring to the reports, the airline had also said similar allegations had earlier been communicated to it by Sebi in June 2016, based on a complaint received by the regulator. The full service carrier posted a net loss of Rs 1,323 crore for the three months ended June.

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