Hyderabad, October 20: Trouble mounted for spiritual guru Kalki Bhagwan, a self-styled godman, after the Income Tax Department on Friday unearthed an undisclosed income of nearly Rs 500 crore while conducting raids in firms and trusts that have been founded by him. The IT department searched multiple firms and trusts in the southern states which have been founded by spiritual guru, who claims to be the 10th 'avatar' of Vishnu.
Around 40 premises connected to a conglomerate of trusts and companies founded by the spiritual guru that ran "wellness courses" were searched by the IT department on Wednesday. The officials conducted searches in premises in the southern cities including Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Varadaiahpalem in Andhra Pradesh. Income Tax Department Seizes Rs 5 Crore Cash in Raids Against Former Karnataka Deputy CM G Parameshwara, Others.
An official release by the tax department added that a total of Rs 43.9 crore in cash and US currency worth Rs 18 crore was seized and the total value of the seizure is about Rs 93 crore, which includes gold and diamonds. According to reports, it was found that the group was investing in tax havens. The tax department has begun probing "diversion of income taxable in India to offshore entities."
Rs 43.9 Crore in Cash Seized by IT Department
During the searches, a total sum of Rs 43.9 crore in cash was seized by the department. American currency worth about Rs 18 crore and foreign exchange in other currencies were also seized. Undisclosed gold jewellery of about 88 kg valued at over Rs 26 crore, and similarly diamonds (1,271 carats), valued at about Rs five crore, were also seized.
The department revealed that the total value of the seizure so far is approximately Rs 93 crore while the undisclosed income of the group detected so far is estimated at more than Rs 500 crore. It added that the search proceedings are still in progress.
Kalki's Sprawling Residential Campuses in Southern Cities
Kalki Bhagwan propounded "oneness philosophy". The entities founded by the guru offered "wellness courses" and training programmes in philosophy and spirituality at various sprawling residential campuses at Varadaiahpalem, Chennai and Bengaluru. The wellness courses attract residential customers from abroad and the group earns substantial receipts in foreign exchange.
Kalki Bhagwan's Vast Business
The group has interests in several sectors, including real estate, construction and sports in India and abroad. These businesses are presently managed and controlled by the spiritual leader who laid the foundation of the group, and his son.
The IT department conducted raids on a tip off that the group has been suppressing receipts that are ploughed into investments in abroad and landed property in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. During the searches, evidence was found that the group has been regularly suppressing its receipts at its various centres or ashrams.
The officials of the IT department found evidence with key employees, who maintained a record of cash collections that were kept outside the accounts for use in making investments elsewhere and also for paying for properties over and above documented values.
"It is learnt that the group also earned unaccounted income in receiving cash from property sales over and above documented values. A preliminary estimate of such unaccounted cash receipts is Rs 409 crore from Financial Year 2014-15 onwards," the release added.
The department said such unaccounted cash receipts are also evidenced by huge quantities of cash and other valuables found at the residences of the spiritual guru and his son, and at one of the campuses.
Key Findings by the IT Department
A key finding of the search conducted by the IT department is that the group has been investing in a number of companies in India and abroad, including in tax havens. Some of these companies based in China, USA, Singapore, UAE, are found to be receiving payments from foreign clients who attend the various residential "wellness" courses offered in India.
The officials found that aspects like receiving donations and returning it under the garb of expenses and receiving a small percentage as fee. Reports inform that there are instances have also been found where the group was not accounting money received from foreign clients in cash in foreign currency and then exchanging the same in the grey market.