Puttaparthi: Denying that there any financial irregularities have taken place by the members of the Sri Satya Sai Central Trust, a Trustee V Srinivasan on Tuesday said that the Trust has no connection with the Rs 35 lakh seized by the police near Kodikonda check post in Anantapur recently.
Addressing a crowded media conference, Mr Srinivasan denied that financial transparency is being strictly maintained. “All donations given in the name of Trust are being deposited in the State Bank of India,” he said.
Mr Srinivasan further said that the Rs 35 lakh seized by the police was meant for a consultant who had been chosen to construct the Maha Samadhi for the Sai Baba. The seized money was given by a devotee of the late Sai Baba and was being taken to the Shankaranarayana Consultancy, Mr Srinivasan said.
“The Sri Satya Sai Central Trust has no connection with the money. The money was not recovered from any Trustee. The vehicle from which the money was recovered does not belong to the Trust,” Mr Srinivasan emphatically said.
Besides this, the consultant has already explained to the police that the money was meant to be used for the Maha Samadhi, the Trustee further said.
“Since the Trust is not going to implement the project, the money was handed over to the project consultant. All information sought by police has already been given,” Mr Srinivasan further said.
The Trustee added that the allegations of financial irregularities are unfounded. “The Trust is strictly maintaining financial transparency, and has filed all statutory returns. Donations received from devotees have been duly deposited to banks in a transparent manner,” Mr Srinivas.
The Trustee added that the Trust has already paid Rs 9.75 crore as income tax, even without any demand by the concerned authorities after deciding to pay necessary tax on all its inventories.
Mr Srinivasan took pains to emphasise that all philanthropic activities carried out by the Trust would continue as usual. “There is no shortage of money for the philanthropic activities,” he said.
He added that the Trust has appointed Prof Anantaraman as media coordinator.
Another Trust member Naganand said late Satya Sai Baba had not left any Will behind.
Mr Naganand added that the trust is contemplating a proposal to make public its finances and other activities every year.
The Trustee further appealed to the media to act responsibly instead of publishing baseless stories against the Trust and hurting the sentiments of devotees.
The state government had written a letter to the Trust secretary seeking a detailed report, including clarifications on charges of misappropriation on Monday.(INN)