ED to question Balkrishna, channel under scanner
While the ED is set to question Balkrishna on the foreign trips and investments he had made using his passport, it has begun scrutiny of funds inflow and remittances made in the television channel, Vedic broadcasting, run by Ramdev.
Sources in the agency said that a show cause notice for alleged irregularities in funds received in the channel would soon be issued. The agency has got a report in this regard from the RBI and violations of forex laws is suspected, they said.
Ramdev and Balkrishna have rejected the charges of any wrongdoing.
The ED has stepped up the heat on the trusts and business enterprises of Ramdev as it has now completed the investigations in a number of instances. The probe against Ramdev`s trusts had begun last year.
The agency had registered the money laundering case against Balkrishna acting on the CBI FIR which had charged him with violations of the Passport Act.
The ED, which enforces the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), suspects that Balkrishna, who has been looking after various trusts run by Ramdev, could have parked the alleged laundered money abroad using the forged passport as claimed by CBI.
Balkrishna is now out on bail after he was arrested by CBI for allegedly submitting fake documents for obtaining Indian passport.
The CBI had registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Balkrishna on July 23 last year for allegedly procuring fake degree and violating Section 12 of Indian Passport Act by furnishing fake and forged High School and graduation certificates to the passport authorities for obtaining the document.
The CBI had filed a charge-sheet in a special court here against Balkrishna in the case.
The ED, which is probing Ramdev`s trusts for alleged forex contraventions, has till now issued three show cause notices under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) provisions.
The Revenue department has already begun a final tax assessment of the trusts associated with Ramdev after service and I-T officials recently conducted special probes on these enterprises for alleged tax evasion.
The I-T department, in May, has also slapped a notice of Rs 58 crore on the sale of the ayurvedic medicines by these trusts. The Service Tax department has similarly raised a demand of about Rs 5 crore on the `yog shivirs` run by his trusts.