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Lilavati Hospital may have evaded huge amount of tax

Tuesday April 12, 2011 09:48:16 PM, IANS

Mumbai: The Income-Tax department's nearly 36-hour search and seizure operation at the prestigious Lilavati Hospital here, which ended Tuesday evening, has yielded evidence of tax evasion worth hundreds of crores of rupees, sources said.

According to reliable sources, the IT sleuths have unearthed the hospital's alleged tax evasion which could run into several hundred crore rupees. Besides, the sleuths have seized certain incriminating documents and records.

The final amount the hospital may have to shell out, including penalties, may run in excess of a few billion rupees, the sources indicated.

The massive operation covered over two dozen premises in and around Mumbai.

The trustees and family members grilled by the I-T department include Prabodh Mehta, his son Chetan Mehta, Charu Kishore Mehta, Rashmi Mehta and Bhavin Mehta.

Interestingly, the managing and permanent trustee of the Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical Trust, Niket Vijay Mehta, who was not raided by the I-T department, late Tuesday evening lauded the government's action.

"I welcome the move of the authorities, probing certain irregularities undertaken by Chetan Mehta and others. It's a remarkable exercise of righteousness from the I-T department that is desperately needed in our country for any institution," Niket Vijay Mehta said.

He added that in the past, he had raised the issue of the "arbitrary and unlawful functioning" of the hospital's all-powerful sub-committee in various fora, including the charity commissioner.

However, he regretted that the charity commissioner failed to take note of his complaints.

Niket Mehta reiterated that the I-T department's actions notwithstanding, the hospital was functioning "as usual" without interruption in the routine of any department.

The hospital, located in Bandra, is frequented by VVIPs, including Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, the Dalai Lama and others.





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