Thursday, July 14, 2011

Deccan Herald gets Carried Away

‘CA helped ISKCON to fudge accounts’

Bangalore, July 8, DHNS:- To strengthen their case of ownership over the Bangalore chapter of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), members of the all-India organisation charged a chartered accountant with ‘assisting’ the self-proclaimed owner of the Bangalore ISKCON, Madhu Pandita Dasa, in manipulating documents relating to properties in the City.

The team from the head office of ISKCON on Friday produced an investigation report by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), a regulatory body for CAs, on the falsification of the documents pertaining to ISKCON Bangalore chapter.

Quoting the investigation report, Dayaram Das, Chairman of the Legal Committee for ISKCON said Varadarajan, the chartered accountant hired by Madhu Pandita Dasa and the Bangalore chapter had been found “guilty of professional misconduct”.

Echoing the allegation, the president of ISKCON Jagannath Temple, Varad Krishna Das, said: “To legally claim the Bangalore ISKCON Temple to be a defunct society, Madhu Pandita Dasa needed accounts  statements in the name of the defunct society. And to accomplish this, he hired the services of the auditor and generated fraudulent accounts statements in the name of the defunct society.”

Based on a complaint in 2005 filed by the Mumbai head office of ISKCON, the ICAI investigated into the matter of Varadarajan allegedly abetting in trying to form a separate ISKCON chapter under the Karnataka Companies Registration Act.

According to the ICAI findings, Varadarajan had “signed two sets of balance sheets as on March 31, 1991 of the defunct society, despite claiming that he was not the auditor for ISKCON India for the financial year 1990-91.

Therefore, the respondent is guilty of professional misconduct falling under the clause (7) of Part I of second schedule to the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.

The ICAI has also found Varadarajan guilty of “other misconduct” falling within the meaning of Section 22 read with Section 21 of the same Act for filing balance sheets from 1988-89 to 1999-2000 in one single stroke in 2001 which was noted by the Income Tax department as being a replica of the branch account of ISKCON India.

Varada Krishna Das said: “We are suspecting that there is possible money laundering which may be recurring in the Akshaya Patra scheme. However, there is no way to ascertain this without going through the financial records of the chapter."

Reply to "CA helped ISKCON to fudge accounts" by AGRANI KRISHNA DASA via ISKCON TIMES


Deccan Herald, one of the highly circulated newspapers in Karnataka, on 9th July 2011 published an article titled "CA helped ISKCON fudge accounts". I wish to clarify to some of the facts raised in the article.
The article states "…the self proclaimed owner of the Bangalore ISKCON, Madhupandit dasa, in manipulating …"
Clarification: Sri Madhupandit dasa has never claimed ownership over ISKCON Bangalore, the dispute about the properties of ISKCON on Hare Krishna Hill on Chord Road is between ISKCON Mumbai (Registered in 1971)and ISKCON Bangalore(Registered in 1978) and is not between Madhupandit dasa and ISKCON, as is being often claimed by ISKCON Mumbai and its followers.
It is very unfortunate the Deccan Herald also subscribes to this view of ISKCON Mumbai. This if very much contrary to the ethics of the fourth estate as it shows the said media is biased towards ISKCON Mumbai. Is this bias due to the fact the Sri Uday Holla, Senior advocate of High court of Karnataka, the counsel for ISKCON Mumbai happens to have appeared as the attorney for many suits of Deccan Herald? It is for the reader to conclude.
In the press conference conducted on 8th July 2001, ISKCON Mumbai presented to all as if the findings of the disciplinary committee of the ICAI are final and that action should be taken against the said auditor. In the above said article of Deccan Herald the very same assumption is being echoed. But in actuality, disciplinary committee's findings are of the nature of recommendation. The law applicable to these facts is such that this Report will now be forwarded to the Council established under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949. The Council will then call upon the professionals concerned to contest the same and only after hearing him will the Council proceed to arrive at a decision. This decision may either be:
a) Confirming the findings of the Disciplinary Committee;
b) Or dismissing the findings of the Disciplinary Committee and agreeing with the argument of the Respondent that he is not ‘guilty of any professional misconduct';
Further, if the Council were to decide that the professional concerned is ‘guilty of professional misconduct'; it will have to forward its recommendation to the High Court. The High Court may or may not agree with the Council. Only after the High Court confirms the recommendations of the Council will those recommendations become final.
But as usual ISKCON Mumbai, which is ever active to convert anything and everything in its favor, wanting to gain some documentary support for its ongoing legal battle with ISKCON Bangalore, has projected the committee's findings as the final verdict. It is very sad that Deccan Herald also is toeing its line and did not publish the rejoinder sent to it by the auditor himself.
The disciplinary committees' findings are vitiated and have many faults of facts and law. ISKCON Bangalore along with its former auditor will be taking appropriate legal steps in the right forums.

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