Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi and Ritu Kumar, three of the top fashion designers in the country, have come under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate. The ED has reportedly summoned the three designers to explain payments made in cash by a Punjab political leader. According to sources from the ED, the agency is likely send a notice to call the three designers to Delhi for questioning.
The three designers are among the foremost in the Indian fashion industry, with several celebrity clients in India and abroad. Their transactions with the political leader, who is an elected MLA, is said to have come to light during a money laundering investigation by the ED. A case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been registered against him.
Some documents that the ED have found during the investigation show that these designers had provided clothes for a wedding organised by the politician a few years ago. But the payments for those designer clothes, which ran into lakhs, were done in cash. They have been accused of violating income tax laws.
Sources from the ED say that a case of income tax fraud will soon be registered against the political leader and the three designers. The Income Tax department will do its own investigation into the case after the ED has questioned them and submitted a report.