Rs 500 crore seized from self-styled godman’s ashrams, biz groups
The money was channeled into land and properties in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and abroad, the tax department said.Updated: Oct 19, 2019 07:31 IST
The Income Tax department on Friday said it has unearthed around Rs.500 crore of undisclosed income from around 40 locations associated with self-styled godman Kalki Bhagwan across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
The IT raids are being carried out at Kalki Bhagwan’s ashrams as well as business enterprises associated with his son Krishna. Krishna manages Oneness Temple, a so-called spiritual university and real estate firms.
According to the tax department, the seizures so far include Rs.409 crore of unaccounted cash receipts since 2014-15; Rs.43.90 crore of unaccounted cash in Indian currency; $ 2.5 million dollars in US currency (roughly Rs 18 crore); 88 kg of jewelery worth Rs 26 crore; and 1271 carats of diamonds valued at Rs 5 crore.
“The Oneness Institute attracts residential devotees from abroad, and the group earns substantial receipts in foreign incomes. During the raids, evidence was found that the group has been regularly suppressing revenues in its ashrams and other business centres,” the IT department added in a statement.
The money was channeled into land and properties in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and abroad, the tax department added.
Born Vijay Kumar Naidu in Ullanatham Village in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, Kalki Bhagwan was a clerk with the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), but quit to start an educational institution to provide alternative education. He soon declared himself Kalki, the tenth avatar of Lord Vishnu and launched the Oneness Temple in the early 1980s. His temple attracted thousands of locals and NRIs. .
Naidu is no stranger to controversy. he has been accused of land grab, a charge denied by his followers. In 2008, a stampede in his Chitoor ashram, killed five.
Kalki Bhagwan’s Ashram officials could not be reached for comment.