Income Tax raids on restaurant chains


Chennai: Income-tax investigators on Tuesday knocked on the doors of the well-known vegetarian restaurant chains, Hotel Saravana Bhavan and Adyar Ananda Bhavan of Tamil Nadu, to verify possible tax evasion by them.
Sources in the Income-tax department said the searches were carried out in nearly 40 places across India where the two chains of restaurants have branches, besides the proprietors’ offices, godowns and houses.
Income-tax sources said the searches began arou­n­d 8 am and over 35 team­s, comprising nearly 200 members, were conducting searches in Chennai and other parts of the state.
The raid teams had reportedly seized incriminating documents and unaccounted cash, but the officials did not divulge what the papers contained. The Income-tax officers raided 10 premises belonging to Saravana Bhavan and Adyar Ananda Bhavan.
Sources said the raids were also being carried out in places like Tirunelveli, Madurai, Salem and Trichy. Ten teams are also operating outside the state to verify tax evasion, the Income-tax sou­rce said.
Hotel Sara­vana Bhavan, founded in 1981 by P. Rajagopal, has emerged over a period of time as the largest vegetarian restaurant chain, serving south Indian cuisine and having about 20 restaurants in Chennai and around the city.
It has also expanded its base in Delhi and in a few other south Indian states. It has outlets in the UK, USA, Canada, France, Germ­any, Singapore, Malaysia and in the Middle-East.
Adyar Ananda Bhavan Sweets and Snacks was founded by K.S. Thiru­pathi Raja in Chennai nearly 30 years ago and expanded to Kanc­heepur­am, Erode, Madurai, Tiruchy, Coim­batore, Tir­u­p­u­r and Delhi beside­s starting branches in Pud­uc­h­e­rry and Karnataka. 

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