Chennai

Madras HC reserves order on Kalki Bhagavan’s kin plea

Preetha Krishna had challenged a lookout circular which prevented from going abroad

The Madras High Court on Monday reserved its orders on a writ petition filed by Preetha Krishna, daughter-in-law of ‘Kalki’ Bhagavan, challenging a lookout circular issued by the Income Tax department on December 5 preventing her from flying abroad without a I-T clearance certificate.

Justice Anita Sumanth deferred her verdict after hearing arguments advanced by the petitioner’s counsel Nithyaesh Natraj and the senior standing counsel for I-T department A.P. Srinivas and after taking the counter affidavits on file.

After conclusion of arguments, Mr. Natraj urged the court to consider his client’s request for an interim order permitting her to travel abroad from February 24. She had filed an affidavit of undertaking before the court stating that her husband and daughter would be available in India.

Referring to an order passed by a Division Bench of the High Court in 2018 allowing Sivaganga MP Karti P. Chidambaram to fly abroad when a lookout circular against him was pending, the counsel said a similar relief could be granted for his client too.

On the other hand, Mr. Srinivas told the court that a search and seize operation conducted at the residences, trusts as well as companies run by Sri Bhagavan alias Vijay Kumar, his wife Amma Bhagavan alias Padmavati Vijay Kumar, son N.K.V. Krishna and the latter’s wife Ms. Krishna had led to recovery of huge amount of valuables.

Searches in 38 places

The operation was carried out on 38 premises in Chennai, Chittoor, Hyderabad and Bengaluru and one of them was Ms. Krishna’s residence on East Coast Road here from where unaccounted cash of ₹23.87 crore and foreign currency totalling $1.25 million (valued approximately to be ₹9 crore) had been seized by the I-T sleuths.

Further, 5,678 grams of gold jewellery worth ₹1.68 crore and 433.47 carats of diamonds worth ₹1.7 crore were found in her residence and placed under prohibitory orders. During the course of search, it was found that unaccounted cash had been generated by companies and trusts in which the petitioner was either a shareholder or trustee.

It was found that trusts/companies run by Sri Bhagavan and his son were involved in generating unaccounted cash which worked out to ₹409 crore. Further, ₹131 crore had been transferred through hawala channels to be invested in foreign entities in which the petitioner and her husband were holding beneficial interests, the I-T department alleged.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:24:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/madras-hc-reserves-order-on-kalki-bhagavans-kin-plea/article30846816.ece

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