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Cash seizure: Sai Baba’s nephew says money belongs to devotees

Posted by on June 27, 2011 1 Comment

Hyderabad: Late Sathya Sai Baba’s nephew R.J. Ratnakar, who was yesterday questioned by police in connection with the seizure of Rs 35.5 lakh in cash, today said the money belonged to the ‘devotees’ but refused to elaborate more. “This 35 lakh belongs to devotees.

Now that this is in the court and investigation is on, more details cannot be told,” he said. The cash was recovered a day after Sai Baba’s personal chamber ‘Yajur Mandir’ was opened and it was disclosed that it contained 98 kg of gold, 307 kg of silver, apart from Rs 11.56 crore.

Ratnakar refuted as “mud-slinging” and “totally false” allegations that trust members were trying to siphon out funds.

“None of us…we are incapable of doing such things. We have dedicated our lives at the lotus feet of the Bhagwan Baba,” he said, adding there are “disgruntled” people who are spreading such allegations. He said the Sathya Sai trust is the “most transparent” trust and we go by all statutory requirements.

He also dismissed suggestions that there was a rift between members of the trust as some had come through influence, saying the trust was constituted last year and all came to the board together. “Whoever has come to the trust were handpicked by Bhagwan (Sathya Sai)and I don’t think anybody could have influenced for others,” he said.

He said he was not ‘aware’ about the one hour delay in taking Sathya Sai Baba to hospital soon after he fell ill and denied that the arrival of ‘rahu kaalam’ had come in the way from taking him to hospital. Deccan Chronicle

One Response to “Cash seizure: Sai Baba’s nephew says money belongs to devotees”

  1. Sathya Sai Baba was the founder and sole trustee in 1972 when the trust
    was instituted, continued as the principal trustee even after he
    handpicked other members much later and remained a trustee right up till
    his physical departure. As a trustee, he was legally entitled to
    receive donations from anyone either in cash or kind (in kind refers to
    all objects received). Also, he sought and obtained exemptions for the
    trust way back in the 70s from any statutory filings or accounting
    requirements. This was granted by the then state government and this
    report is out these in several press issues. The principal secretary for
    endowments stated that there are no documents with the state since
    there was no such requirement due to the exemptions. Since his trust was
    granted 20 exemptions, it was not subject to the rules that other
    trusts have to follow. One cannot speak on behalf of Sai Baba on the
    subjective issue of why the cash, gold etc. were kept in his private
    room. He could have kept it as an alternative means of supporting the
    activities carried out by the trust or for emergency purposes. Only
    recently the state government is re-looking into withdrawing some of the
    exemptions and it will be the job of the trust to henceforth account
    for all the properties and wealth going forward. Sathya Sai Baba was
    perhaps granted this special privilege by the government due to his
    towering stature as a revered spiritual personality involved in many
    free charitable and service activities. With that said, the current
    trust members who are not directly known to devotees need to be held
    accountable for all the activities of the trust and the government has
    started the process by withdrawing the exemptions mentioned which will
    pave the way towards transparent functioning.


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