Puttaparthi, Jun 28 (ANI): Trustees of Sathya Sai Baba on Tuesday offered to pay tax on the enormous piles of cash and gold discovered in his private chambers in Andhra Pradesh.
On June 17th, The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust members found 98 kilograms of gold and jewellery, 307 kilograms of silver articles and rupees 115.6 million ($2.58 million) in cash on unlocking Yajur Mandir, the private chamber of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at his Prashanta Nilayam Ashram.
The valuable assets including cash were deposited in a bank as per the directive of the Income Tax Department.
While addressing mediapersons in Puttaparthi , S S Naganand, Legal Advisor and Council Member of the Trust said
"As of now, whatever the law requires we have disclosed. We have filed income tax returns, we have filed returns of the Andhra government, and we have filed returns with Government of India, Foreign Contributions Act. It's all available in public realm.
"But the man in the street doesn't know and the press and media have reported so many things. So naturally, lot many people are very curious, what is there, why so many things are happening, why there is so much money that is available," said Naganand.
So the trustees are now seriously considering that in addition to all the statutory compliances that we are required to do and which we will continue to do, we should come out with an annual report of our activities, which gives broadly the financial transactions of the trust," he said.
Naganand further said that the assets and properties of the trust were built following government norms and the management of the empire maintained transparency.
"Everything is transparently done. So the system is there, institutions are there, personally different levels are there and the institutions are running in accordance with the guidelines, which is absolute, corporate governance norms are followed. Therefore, there is really no need for any such trouble," he said.
On June 19, police confiscated rupees 35.5 lakh (3.5 million) from a car belonging to one of the Trustees and detained the driver of the vehicle named Harishnanda Shetty.
A trustee, V. Srinivasan, who incidentally happens to be a leading industrialist of south India, was reported to have siphoned off the money.
This led to allegations that the Trust's assets were being misappropriated.
Clearing his stand on the issue, Srinivasan, said that the trust welcomes government probe in the issue.
The 86-year old spiritual leader passed away on April 24. The doctors had said that the spiritual leader's liver had stopped functioning while his blood pressure had become relatively low.
Sathya Sai Baba is believed to be the re-incarnation of 19th century spiritual leader Sai Baba of Shirdi in the western state of Maharashtra and he had millions of devotees across the world.
His followers include many political leaders including former Prime Ministers, business tycoons, movie actors and sportspersons. (ANI)