Chennai: The search operations by the Income Tax (I-T) department at self-styled godman Kalki Bhagavan's ashram, trust and the business premises of his son resulted in the detection of undisclosed income and seizure of gold, diamonds and foreign currencies valued at about Rs 500 crore, making many a person's jaw drop.
According to the I-T department, 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, the US, Singapore, the UAE etc. are found to be receiving payments from foreign clients who attend the various residential "wellness" courses offered in India.
The department is investigating the diversion of income taxable in India to offshore entities by the group in this process.
Further, it is found that one of the group trusts may be providing accommodation entries to other parties by receiving donations from them and then returning the money back under the garb of expenses and receiving a small percentage as fee.
Instances have also been found where the group is not accounting for the money received from overseas clients in foreign currency and then exchanging the same in the grey market.
All these leads are being pursued and the investigation is in progress, the I-T department said.
So who is this Kalki Bhagavan?
Born as V. Vijaykumar in Vellore in Tamil Nadu, his family moved to Chennai (then Madras) in mid 1955. His father was said to be employed with Indian Railways.
According to available information, Vijaykumar attended school here and also graduated in Mathematics from a city college.
For sometime Vijaykumar worked with the Life Insurance Corporation of India. He was married to Padmavathi.
In 1984, Vijaykumar started a school in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh and few years later he decided to focus on spiritual classes and closed down the school.
After sometime, his disciples started calling him Kalki Bhagavan.
He built a second campus near here at Somangalam. Soon his spiritual workshops gained popularity and attracted many followers.
In 1999, he started building the Oneness University in Chittoor district.
In 2008, the university campus saw the death of five persons while several others were injured in a stampede.
Several Bollywood actors and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also visited the university campus.
According to the I-T department, the group founded in 1980 based on "oneness" philosophy has also diversified into several sectors, including real estate, construction, sports etc., both in India and abroad.
The group is presently managed and controlled by Vijaykumar, who laid the foundation of the group, and his son Krishna.
The courses run by the gooup attract residential clients from abroad and it earns substantial receipts in foreign exchange.