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Approach and Action is Same for Everyone: IRS Officer Rohini Divakar on High-Profile Tax Raids

Indian Masterminds Stories

On 2 August this year, the Income Tax Department carried out search operations or raids on producers, distributors and financiers associated with Kollywood, the Tamil Nadu film industry, including G.N. Anbu Chezhiyan. This was the third time when Chezhiyan came under the scanner of the IT department. The crackdown was conducted in 40 locations across Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore and Vellore. 

The IT team retrieved several documents and evidences connecting to tons of unaccounted transactions and investments. Cash and gold were also seized. 

While the department is busy in post action formalities, Indian Masterminds talked to IRS officer Ms. Rohini Divakar to know what goes on behind the scene when raids of such a massive scale are conducted. 

NO ACTION WITHOUT STRONG INTELLIGENCE 

In the 2 August search operations, undisclosed income exceeding Rs. 200 crores were detected, while Rs. 26 crores of cash and gold jewellery exceeding Rs. 3 crores were seized. When asked how operations at 40 different locations are managed all at once, Ms. Divakar said, “Strong and credible intelligence is the stepping stone for everything. Raids look so adventurous but those are not the result of one day. Lot of background work and pre-search investigation goes behind every case before any raid is conducted. On the recent case, our teams went into action mode and searched all the 40 locations at once as a part of strategy. Such things could be tricky but our department works with utmost professionalism.”

She added that the whole process is calibrated in such a fashion that there is no space for loopholes. A nerve is established to ensure coordination between the teams. And all of them follow the protocols and directions that are issued from time to time. 

NEVER ENGAGES IN ANY INTERFERENCE

This is not the first time that Ms. Divakar has taken action against a defaulter who is as influential as Chezhiyan. When asked if there was any kind of pressure during the task, she says, “We build our paper work very well. All the legalities as per the Income Tax Act are taken care of. Then only we start the raids of any action with the orders of our superiors. So, there is no space for any pressure. Yes, there have been times when I have been contacted between the search with an intent to stop me. However, I never engage because our next step depends on what we find. Then, there is no need to engage anybody.”

She emphasizes that the approach, manner and the professionalism is same for everybody. “A little more caution is taken in terms of security when we are after a man who is sensitive, so that no unwanted incidents happen. Situations are foreseen based on the nature of the subject before launching any sort of actions,” she added. 


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