The Income-Tax Department on Thursday conducted "localised" searches in Pune, Mumbai and Kochi and maintained that there was not an "iota of truth" in claims that nationwide searches were being conducted on stockbrokers and other stock market intermediaries.
"No sharebroker anywhere in the country is being raided today. There is no search planned or taking place on an all-India level basis," said Mr A.K. Sinha, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) spokesperson, during a hurriedly convened news conference on Thursday.
He refuted electronic media reports that the department officials were conducting searches on stockbrokers.
Mr Sinha said that a few searches were carried out in Pune on Thursday on certain real estate developers, adding that "consequential searches" were being done in Chennai, Kolhapur and Aurangabad.
In Mumbai, the department conducted searches at the premises of certain doctors, diagnostic centres and interior decorators. In Kochi, searches were conducted at an IT firm.
"Searches are sensitive issues. They are done purely on a discretionary basis based on the information available with the Director-General at the local level. There is no provision for issuing any direction from CBDT for carrying out searches," Mr Sinha said.
The Income-Tax Department on Thursday conducted raids at the offices and residence of several professionals such as doctors, caterers and interior decorates.
Mr S.S.N. Moorthy, Director-General (Investigations), Income-Tax, Mumbai, said that 15 groups of service professionals were targeted. Many of these professionals were under-reporting incomes.