HP India Offices Searched By Government Investigators

An HP India spokesperson confirmed the DRI search. "We are cooperating with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence as much as it is appropriate and possible for us to do so," the spokesperson said in a statement.

However, the spokesperson refused to provide details about the raid. "As a matter of policy, HP does not comment on whether it has or has not received subpoenas in connection with particular government inquiries involving our business, our vendors, customers or other companies with whom we have business relationships," according to the spokesperson.

One HP partner, who declined to be named, said the raids may have been conducted to investigate issues related to excise duty.

"Early this January, the excise department had issued a notification that excise will be charged on the MRP of IT products, rather than the earlier rule of charging on factory invoice," the HP partner said. "Till then, most products carried MRP tags that were 30-to-40 percent more than the price at which they were finally retailed. Our sources tell us that the investigations are based around this issue. This could mean that other hardware vendors with local manufacturing may also face investigations."

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However, another HP partner said that the raids could be part of ongoing investigations by DRI against software importers. In September, Softcell Technologies was allegedly searched by authorities investigating duty evasion on software imports.