The Enforcement Directorate today seized assets worth Rs 20.87 crore of former Dabur group director Pradip Burman in connection to a foreign exchange probe launched after the HSBC Bank’s black money list was unearthed a few years ago.
The ED said that it initiated action under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act. They seized assets that also included 50,000 tax -free government bonds of government-owned firms – HUDCO and IRFC.
The agency took over the case on the basis of a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax Department against Burman as part of its probe in the leaked HSBC list of Indians. The trial in this case is yet to commence.
The assets were seized after it was found that Burman deposited $3.2 million in his HSBC bank account in Zurich, Switzerland. ED noted that he “did not” show this amount in his income tax returns filed during 2007-08.
The investigation revealed that Burman has deposited $32.12 lakh with HSBC, Zurich and was holding the same in contravention of section 4 of the FEMA and failed to repatriate the entire amount to India till date.Enforcement Directorate
“The seizure order of some bonds of Mr. Pradip Burman under Section 37A of FEMA is unmerited and unlawful. It is based on suspicion and conjectures without there being lawful evidence or material justifying the same,” according to a statement by the family office of Pradip Burman. “This order is being contested by us and we are confident that we will get justice and relief under law from Authorities/Courts,” it added.
Burman was a Director in Dabur India Ltd., Sanat Products Ltd., and Ratna Commercial Enterprises Ltd. He is also a trustee in the family-owned Dr S K Burman Charitable Trust.
Burman is only one of the 628 Indians, who were named in a list of account holders in HSBC Bank’s Geneva branch. India had obtained the list from the French government in 2007.
(The article has been modified to include a response from the Burman Family Office.)