Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Rs 1,100 crore empire is in trouble. 50 of his companies and trusts are under the scanner.
The Enforcement Directorate has filed a case stating that yoga icon Baba Ramdev and his trust have violated foreign exchange laws. The case centres upon an island in Scotland that was gifted to Baba Ramdev by a wealthy couple of Indian origin who say they are his followers.
Early last month, the Enforcement Directorate had asked UK authorities to share records of the purchase of The Little Cumbrae Island, which serves as the yoga icon's base abroad. Ramdev's trust claims the island is valued at $2 million. The
Enforcement Directorate says it is well over $20 million.
According to sources, the investigating agency has found evidence that Baba Ramdev and his trusts channeled unauthorised funds to overseas accounts, and has slapped a case of foreign exchange violations worth Rs 7 crore. Two large remittances were suspicious, they said - $300,000 transferred to a London bank and $80,000 sent to Madagascar in Africa.
Baba Ramdev denied charges of wrong doing. "I have not done anything wrong or illegal. During my two-decade-long public life, I have replied to all questions raised about me with ample proof," Ramdev said. He added he is yet to get a notice from the Enforcement Directorate and he would reply to it once he receives it.
Ved Pratap Vaidik, a close associate of the yoga teacher, said, "The timing of the case is suspect. If the government had all this information, why did they not file a case earlier?"
Baba Ramdev's massive yoga camp in Delhi in June made headlines after thousands of people who had gathered there were lathi-charged late at night. The Supreme Court is reviewing the police's actions.
The camp had been organised by Baba Ramdev to highlight the need to recover black money or undeclared income funneled into foreign bank accounts by Indians.
The yoga icon held extensive negotiations with the government over his suggestions for how to tackle the problem. When the talks broke down, the government allegedly sanctioned the police sanction at his camp. The police says that Ramdev added to the chaos by leaping off his stage into the crowd when the police arrived to arrest him. They said he had violated the permission sanctioned to his camp by turning it into a political demonstration.The yoga teacher was found walking toward the railway station dressed as a woman.