Bhopal: Gutka barons donated over Rs 200cr to a political party

BHOPAL: Gutka barons- who recently faced raids over financial anomalies- had given donation of over Rs 200 crore to a political party last year, ahead of the Assembly elections. Economic Offences Wing (EOW), looking into the financial irregularities, is mulling over calling the party leaders in this connection.

Department of GST has submitted its report to EOW and in all likelihood FIR will be registered against the industrialist including some of the government officials on Thursday. Reports from other concerned department have arrived and all speaks volumes about the irregularities committed by the factories for over years.

The anomalies including financial at gutka manufacturing units went unnoticed as officials of concerned departments did not step into the units for years.

The documents seized from the factories during the raids reveal huge donation made to a political party over years.

Owners of the factory Kamal Kant Chourasia, a resident of Kanpur, franchise holders Sheikh Mohammad Arif and Vaibhav Pandey residents of Bhopal kept the political party in good humour giving huge donations. If at all they faced any administrative issues, the politicians using their clout managed the officials and settled things.

Enjoying political patronage, the gutka industrialists ran their business keeping all norms at bay and allegedly evading tax to the tunes of crores of rupees. For years, the officials of GST (tax department) did not visit the factory and if at all they came to the factory they remained confined to the office cursory checking the documents.

It is claimed that electricity department did not conduct any audit in last seven years. It was ten years back that food and drug department had collected the sample; no one took pain to visit the factories in last many years. The officials of weight and measurement department too paid a visit to the factories five year ago.

Irregularities galore: Sources informed that the food and drug department had found the adulteration in gutka. The labour department has come across violating of ‘child labour’ norms at the factory. A case regarding the same would be filed against the factory management. The weight and measurement department found disparity in content in the pouch and the quantity mentioned. Case of electricity theft would also be filed against the gutka units as they were running on the improper power load. The department will impose penalty and also file case against the owners.

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