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Taxman to look into Tehelka's business deals, share transactions by Tarun Tejpal and family

Our concern is tax evasion and the case is likely to come to us soon and we will investigate all concerned," said a senior I-T department official.

Updated: Dec 06, 2013, 09.39 AM IST
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Our concern is tax evasion and the case is likely to come to us soon and we will investigate all concerned," said a senior I-T department official.
Our concern is tax evasion and the case is likely to come to us soon and we will investigate all concerned," said a senior I-T department official.
(This story originally appeared in on Dec 06, 2013)
NEW DELHI: The income tax department is likely to soon open investigations into Tehelka's alleged murky deals and share transactions done by its editor Tarun Tejpal and his family apart from its former managing editor Shoma Chaudhury. Sources said the department has put the company's account books under scanner and some of its recent deals may be examined in terms of tax evasion.

"There are dubious deals apparent in the company's affairs. It looks very much like the way several corrupt politicians and corporates circulate ill-gotten money through various companies they own. Our concern is tax evasion and the case is likely to come to us soon and we will investigate all concerned," said a senior I-T department official.

Notably, Tehelka's business deals and financial transactions, particularly between 2006 and 2009, have been under cloud with allegations of suspicious funding from non-existent companies which seemed to give no credence to the poor fundamentals of Anant Media Pvt Ltd (which owns Tehelka) while investing in it.

In fact, according to a news portal that quoted Registrar of Companies documents, Tejpal, his family members and Chaudhury are alleged to have indulged in dubious share transactions where Rs 10 Tehelka shares were bought by now-untraceable companies at a premium of over Rs 13,000 even as the company continued to make losses. While Tejpal's family and Chaudhury allegedly made windfall profits, shares of other investors in the company remained dormant.

An exclusive club "of like-minded people" being set up by Tehelka in Delhi, and owned through majority shares by Tejpal, is also under the I-T department's scanner. The club was jointly promoted by controversial liquor baron Ponty Chadha, who was killed last year.

The I-T department's Goa unit has begun examining investment and share-holding patterns of Thinkworks, a Tejpal-owned company which organizes the ThinkFest. It was during this event that a Tehelka employee was allegedly molested by Tejpal.

Sources said the I-T department will check the balance sheets and returns filed by the company and check tax evasion if any.
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