On Thursday morning, the Income Tax Department initiated raids against four popular restaurant chains in Chennai, including the world-famous Saravana Bhavan, for alleged tax evasion.
Saravana Bhavan apart, Hot Breads, the Anjappar group, and Grand Sweets chains are being raided by the I-T department.
The restaurant chains are yet to respond to the allegations of tax evasion.
Here's what we know.
The raids will continue for at least two days
The investigation wing of the I-T department commenced raids in 32 locations across Chennai from 8am on Thursday morning.
Over 100 I-T officials are involved in the raids, and it is understood that both corporate offices and residences of the directors of these chains are being raided.
Reportedly, the searches are set to continue for at least two days.
Reportedly, the chains were engaged in large-scale tax evasion
Commenting on the raids, officials told NDTV that the raids were commenced after the I-T department received information that these restaurant chains had been engaged in large-scale tax evasion for several years.
After the department received the complaints, the four chains had been put under their scanner for the past few months.
Reportedly, the department found mismatches between the chains' incomes and taxes paid.
Saravana Bhavan is a chain of international repute
For those unaware, the aforementioned restaurant chains are reputed for serving quality south Indian food and delicacies, including cakes, pastries, and sweets, and some of their products are even shipped abroad.
The biggest among them is possibly Saravana Bhavan.
Founded in 1981 by P Rajagopal, the chain, apart from its presence in India, has outlets in over 20 countries including the US, the UK, France, and Australia.
Grand Sweets, Anjappar, Hot Breads are also highly regarded
The other three, too, are highly regarded.
The Anjappar group started out in 1964, and reportedly has outlets in over 30 locations, including a few outside India.
Grand Sweets, reputed for its sweets and snacks, has been in business for over three decades.
Meanwhile, bakery chain Hot Breads, owned by businessman M Mahadevan, has several outlets in Tamil Nadu and the neighboring Puducherry.