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HC rejects Asaram ashram’s plea against special IT audit

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court today dismissed a petition filed by the Sant Asaram Ashram challenging an I-T Department notice about special audit of alleged shell companies owned by it.

A division bench of justices M R Shah and B N Karia allowed the I-T Department to go ahead with special audit of the group of companies owned by the controversial ‘godman’ asaram, and his institution, Sant Asaram Ashram.

The ashram floated several shell companies which indulge in money laundering, the notice alleged.

With the court dismissing the petition, the department will be able to carry out a special audit as provided under section 142 (2)(A) of the Income Tax Act.

Asaram was arrested by Jodhpur police on August 31, 2013 in a case of rape filed by a minor girl. Later, two sisters from Surat also levelled allegations of rape against Asaram and his son.

The self-styled godman is in jail, facing trials in the two cases.

—PTI