Billionaire Monk: I-T Raids Recover Rs 600 Crore Worth Of Undisclosed Income From Kalki Bhagwan’s Ashrams
The Income Tax Department has found over Rs 600 crores worth of unaccounted assets from self-styled godman Kalki Bhagwan’s ashrams in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The I-T raid’s findings included cash (Rs 45 crore), gold jewellery and diamonds (Rs 41 crore) and foreign currency Rs 20 crore, reported The Economic Times.
In a video released by his followers, after the Income Tax raids, the 70-year-old, Vijay Kumar alias Kalki Bhagwan is seen accompanied by his wife. “We have not abandoned you. We have not left the country. We are at Nehman, conducting classes and helping you. Activities continue as usual. We want to thank all our devotees, who stood by us and have been posting wonderful messages on social media,” he said in his video.
The income tax department, in a statement, said they conducted the raids on October 16 under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015. The searches were conducted on various properties of ‘White Lotus’ in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chittor, and Kuppam by multiple teams comprising of over 200 personnel.
The company White Lotus is owned by Krishna, son of Kalki Bhagwan.
“The courses attract residential customers from abroad, and the group earns substantial receipts in foreign exchange. There was intelligence that the group had been suppressing its receipts, which are ploughed into investment in huge tracts of landed property in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and in investments abroad,” it stated.
The I-T department further established that the search process revealed substantial evidence on various centres of the ashram that suppressed its receipts. The department also identified key employees who maintained records of collecting cash that was kept outside the accounts.
In a statement, the foundation said, “The government keeps track of any developing organisation to ensure the functioning is on legal terms. We respect the nation’s law. We would face it legally. We will abide by the government if our activities are not as per law”.
Apart from these irregularities, the I-T department also found US currency of about $2.5 million (approximately Rs 18 crore).
Vijay Kumar, the 70-year-old self-styled godman claims himself to be the 10th avatar of Vishnu-Kalki in the early 1990s. His institution, Jeevashram, was found in the mid-1980s.
Vijay Kumar worked as a clerk in Life Insurance Corporation, to provide an “alternative education system to his disciples”. He later started his Oneness University. The trust of the ashram is run by his wife Padmavati and son NKV Krishna.
The IT department started the raids on October 16 across 40 premises in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Varadaiahpalem near Chittoor.