IT dept should probe Janardhana Reddy’s daughter’s wedding expenditure says complaint

 

CBI and ED in 2012 had attached assets worth over Rs 50 crore to Rs 70 crore, including expensive cars, helicopters and immovable assets

A replica of a palace right in the middle of Bengaluru, a lavish event spread over five days and bride’s trousseau worth crores; former BJP minister and mining baron Janardhana Reddy has done all he can to make sure his daughter’s wedding was in the headlines.

But how is Reddy, who is being investigated by the CBI, ED and IT dept funding the big wedding? Are government agencies keeping a tab on the spending?

On Tuesday, Bengaluru-based RTI activist and lawyer Narasimha Murthy filed a complaint with the Income Tax office in Bengaluru alleging that the mining baron had evaded tax.

For the uninitiated, Reddy, who was also a former BJP leader, was released on a conditional bail from prison in 2015 after spending almost three years in jail over illegal mining cases. It is easily among the most sensational cases in India.

“CBI and the Enforcement Directorate officials attached the assets of G Janardhana Reddy and his wife. Where is all this money coming from? “asks Murthy.

CBI and ED in 2012 had attached assets worth over Rs 50 crore to Rs 70 crore, including expensive cars, helicopters and immovable assets. Rs 885 crore worth shares and assets in Obalapuram mining company were also seized by the ED.

“When I submitted the complaint to the IT (Investigations) Director General Balakrishnan, he asked me whether I had any evidence. I said I don’t have any documentary proof of the expenditure, but no one can really miss the model Vijayanagar Empire sitting right in the heart of the city,” Murthy said.

Reddy, who reportedly thinks that he is the reincarnation the 14th century Vijayanagara king Krishnadeva Raya, recreated the empire at the venue for his daughter Brahmani’s wedding worth over Rs 500 crores.

“Balakrishnan told us that the IT department has already started the investigation. There is a lot of pressure from the public, and the IT department must fast-track the investigation,” Murthy added.

Over the years, the Income Tax department has served notices to Reddy to pay taxes for possessing illegal assets, including jewellery that were not shown in his IT returns.

From former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde to Ballari whistle-blower Tapal Ganesh, who fought against illegal mining and reportedly helped CBI build a case against the mining baron, many have hit out at the state and the union government for not having taken any action yet.

Ganesh said that that he would write to the Chief Justice of India and the CBI on how Reddy was spending his wealth.

Following the criticism, CBI, ED and IT departments, which are investigating Reddy’s illegal mining cases, said that they would keep tabs on the wedding.

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