ISKCON or Con, Investigation On
BY: AMARJEET SINGH
Apr 14, 2012 INDORE, MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA (DNA) A subsidiary of International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) not only fraudulently procured government land at throwaway price but also got a bank loan of Rs13.5 crore in the name of developing an Information Technology (IT) park in Ujjain, according to a complaint registered with the Lokayukta.
Sources in the investigating agency said Lokayukta registered a case and issued notice to the then chief executive officer (CEO) of Ujjain Development Authority (UDA) Chandramauli Shukla. He allotted the land at Bharatpuri worth Rs 13.5 crore to Varahmihir Infotech limited, a firm owned by the ISKCON trust, for just `1.4 crore in 2005. Shukla is presently CEO, Indore Development Authority.
The Lokayukta has also served notice on regional chief of ISKCON, Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj. He is the promoter of Varahmihir Infotech.
Others who have got notices are successive CEOs of Ujjain Development Authority in the past Nirmal Upadhyaya (now Indore deputy commissioner) and Avadh Shotriya (now Jabalpur Development Authority CEO) Lokayukta SP Ujjain, Arun Mishra confirmed having served notices to the officers.
"We have also served notices to officials of Allahabad Bank," he said. All the three past CEOs have been called on April 16. Others including bank officials and Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj would be summoned later in the week, said an official from Lokayukta. Officials of TNCP have also been called for getting details of objection made by them.
In 2005, land worth Rs 13.5 crore was allotted to Varahmihir Infotech at just `1.4 crore for developing an IT park in three years. The town and country planning department (TNCP) objected to it but the objection was ignored.
No park came up in the stipulated time.
In 2010, Varahmihir Infotech took a loan of Rs13.5 crore from the Allahabad Bank in the name of construction of IT Park.
The ISKCON-promoted company instead diverted the loan to Alcock Private limited, a company which neither had any stake on the acquired land nor any connections with it.
The Alcock Private limited withdrew `8.5 crore. Now the Allahabad Bank has served notices for attachment of the government land owing to the borrower's default.
"It is the evident that office bearers of the trust had wrong intention. They first acquired land at `1.4 crore and then procured a loan in the name of some other company," said an official from SPE, Ujjain.
ISKCON, Ujjain, PRO Raghav Pandit admitted that Varahmihir is the sister concern of spiritual organisation.
"Although some construction work was started, we could not construct the IT Park because we did not have fund due to global recession," he told DNA.
He said he had personally met Lokayukta officials when he heard that a case was registered. He claimed no official communication till now from the Lokayukta has been received by the ISKCON.
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