A sessions court today dismissed the revision pleas of Sathya Sai Central Trust seeking return of Rs 35.5 lakh cash seized by police from a vehicle,allegedly belonging to the Trust in June 2011.
Judge T Gangi Reddy upheld the orders passed by the court of Hindupur Judicial first class magistrate which had directed for handing over the seized amount to the Income-Tax Department last August.
The judge dismissed the revision petition filed by the Trust saying the money will be in custody of the IT department till the final investigation in the case was completed.
The counsel of the Trust pleaded that the seized cash was given by late Sathya Saibaba’s devotees to a consultant for construction of a Maha Samadhi as a memorial for the 86-year-old spiritual leader who passed away on April 23 last year at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Puttaparthy.
However,special public prosecutor K C Krishnareddy,who appeared on behalf of the IT department,argued that none of the devotees/donors came forward before police and had not cooperated in the investigations and a chargesheet was yet to be filed in the case.
A four-wheeler carrying Rs 35.5 lakh in cash was confiscated by police during checking at Kodikonda check-post in Anantapur district bordering Karnataka on June 18 last year.
Police had arrested three persons,including driver of the vehicle Harishnanda Shetty besides Chandrasekhar and Sohan Shetty after police registered a case. The trio are out on bail.
Subsequently,police served notices to top officials of the Sai Central Trust,including Sathya Sai Baba’s nephew RJ Ratnakar,to appear before them in connection with the seizure of cash.