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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

After marathon Income Tax raid, godman Kalki Bhagwan faces ED heat

The ED’s move came after the Income Tax department raids spread over five days last week on the ashram and other establishments detected tax evasion and financial embezzlement of Rs 800 crores.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2019 21:17 IST
MC Rajan
MC Rajan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
The Enforcement Directorate registered a case against self-styled godman Kalki Bhagwan and his son NKV Krishna, after teh Income department seized Rs 20 crore in US dollars and documents relating to purchase of assets abroad through hawala transactions.
The Enforcement Directorate registered a case against self-styled godman Kalki Bhagwan and his son NKV Krishna, after teh Income department seized Rs 20 crore in US dollars and documents relating to purchase of assets abroad through hawala transactions.(Sourced photo)
         

The Enforcement Directorate has registered a case against self-styled godman Kalki Bhagwan and his son NKV Krishna, and initiated a probe into the seizure of Rs 20 crore in dollars and purchase of assets abroad through hawala transactions, officials said Thursday.

The ED registered the case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against the godman and his son, running a spiritual empire, with a sprawling ashram near Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh with branches and business establishments in Tamil Nadu and other southern states.

The ED’s move came after the Income Tax department raids spread over five days last week on the ashram and other establishments detected tax evasion and financial embezzlement of Rs 800 crores. During the raids on 40 locations at Chennai, Chtitoor, Kuppam, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, the IT personnel seized Rs 64 crore of unaccounted cash, including Rs 20 crore worth US dollars, and 90 kg gold jewellery. Further, documentary evidence for financial embezzlement and purchase of assets abroad through hawala transactions, running into several hundred crores were seized, Income Tax authorities said.

IT officials said they detected unaccounted cash receipts for Rs 409 crore, undisclosed HDFC bank account credits of Rs 115 crore, unreconciled bogus share capital for Rs 61 crore, issue of deemed dividend along with interest disallowance on borrowed funds of around Rs 90 – Rs 100 crore, KPL Assets Ltd., profit determined at Rs 20 crore but not offered, foreign investments of Rs 85 crore through hawala channels and documents pertaining to foreign assets and investments in the Persian Gulf and Africa.

Following the seizures, Krishna and his wife were summoned to appear before Income Tax officials for questioning which they did on Tuesday.

Krishna, who is managing the ‘Oneness Temple,’ a spiritual university with ultra modern facilities at the headquarters which attracts devotees from far and near, also runs a host of construction firms in the name of While Lotus, Golden Lotus, Blue Water and Dream View among others. He is said to have invested heavily in the business ventures of his associates, which too have come under the scanner.

Kalki Bhagwan (70), born Vijayakumar Naidu, started off as an LIC agent. Later he joined an educational institution near Chittoor, where he took his spiritual avatar in 1989, declaring himself as Kalki, the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and his wife, Padmavathi, as the lord’s consort.

The self styled godman faces allegations of landgrabbing besides charges of drug and sexual abuse as well as forced monkhood, which the devotees have rebutted in the past.

After the IT raids, the godman released a video message to his followers telling them that he had not fled the country in search of a safe haven and was at his ashram near Chittoor.